DeMint Resolution Challenges Child Rights Convention

Washington, D.C. – Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) today introduced S.R. 519, a resolution opposing ratification of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (Convention, or CRC) in an effort to discourage the State Department and the Obama administration from submitting it to the Senate. Citing dangers posed to American families and to State and federal sovereignty if the treaty were ratified, the measure resolves that “the president should not submit it to the Senate for its advice and consent.”

In Washington’s current political climate, the resolution has little chance of gaining 51 votes for adoption, but its proponents say that is not the point. Since ratification of the Convention requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate, or 67 favorable votes, S.R. 519 needs only 34 cosponsors to prevent that vote and effectively end any chance of ratifying the treaty in the immediate future.

Opponents of the CRC warn that under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution the treaty’s ratification would render it “the Supreme law of the land,” superseding all state constitutions or laws as well as pre-existing federal law. The only legal authority higher than a ratified treaty is the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. According to Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), ratification of the Convention would “undermine the U.S. system of federalism, a system on which this nation was founded.” All family law, the vast majority of which is currently set at the state level, would be federalized as a treaty obligation of the national government.

“We want to see the CRC taken off the table for this Congress, and this resolution will do that. But I am also aware that the only permanent solution to this threat to our families is a parental rights amendment to the Constitution,” DeMint said, referring to another resolution he champions, S.J. Res. 16, which proposes just such an amendment.

Constitutional lawyer Michael Farris, president of ParentalRights.org, agrees. “The Amendment is what we really need, but this resolution is a good temporary fix in the meantime.”

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