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Letters to the Editor

November 05, 2009

Treaty from climate conference
could alter operation of Constitution



To the editor:

In December, there will be a 12-day Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark. "Climate change," of course, means "global warming."

It seems that the outcome of the conference has been predetermined since there is a treaty, which has already been written, to be signed at the end of the conference. This is a treaty intended to take the place of the Kyoto treaty, which, if fully implemented by the signatories, would have slowed the rate of increase in the temperature by one one-hundredth of a degree Centigrade by the year 2050. While the effect on the temperature would not really be measurable, it would have reduced the economies of the complying nations to third-world levels. Since Kyoto was essentially ignored by most rational nations, the priests of this superstition decided to try again.

I have read the pending climate bill, HR 2454, which is a hideous 1,500-page indulgence in magical thinking. I read it because there is some chance, however remote, that it might pass. I have not read the proposed treaty because I do not believe that it will ever be ratified.

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I do have some idea what is in the treaty, even though I have not read it. Ban Ki-Moon, the general secretary of the United Nations, has said that the ultimate point of the treaty is the transfer of power to the U.N. to control everything that the U.N. determines to be related to the objectives of the treaty. Those who have read the treaty assert that there are no provisions for the elections of those who will exercise this power nor for a judicial review of a determination once it has been made. In other words, it is a transfer of sovereignty to an unelected body from which there is no hope of ever retrieving it.

Many Americans who have learned of these provisions are understandably concerned. They correctly see the treaty as an attempt to create a one-world government. This is not the first time that Americans have been fearful of the potential for a treaty altering the operation of our Constitution.

Article VI of the Constitution says that treaties, like the Constitution itself and laws made under it, shall be the supreme law of the land. In 1919, President Wilson presented the Versailles Treaty to the Senate for ratification. This treaty was an attempt to resolve issues relating to the end of World War I and, in addition, it created the League of Nations. Several senators, led by Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, opposed the treaty out of fear that it would mean giving up American sovereignty to a world government. The treaty was finally defeated by a Senate vote in March 1920.

One month later, as if to confirm the Senate's fears, the Supreme Court issued its opinion, written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in the case of Missouri v. Holland. In that case, the court held that a treaty with Great Britain dealing with migratory waterfowl took precedence over the 10th Amendment reservation of powers to the states.

These issues were reignited following World War II and our admission into the United Nations, the successor to the League of Nations. Sen. John W. Bricker of Ohio, like Lodge before him, feared the possibility of de facto amendment of the Constitution by a treaty. His attempt failed, by one vote, in 1954. However, in 1957, in Reid v. Covert, the Supreme Court held that a treaty cannot take precedence over the Constitution. That is, as constitutional law stands now, even if we were to ratify the Copenhagen treaty, it could not operate to surrender our sovereignty to the U.N. as a one-world government.

In any case, if Harry Reid cannot get 60 votes to pass the idiotic "cap-and-trade" legislation, he certainly will not be able to muster the 67 votes he would need to ratify the treaty. Once again, the wisdom of those who wrote the Constitution protects us, in multiple ways, from the folly of those who hold office under the Constitution.

James H. Warner
Rohrersville

Warner is a retired corporate counsel. He served as a domestic policy adviser to President Reagan from 1985 to 1989.




School redistricting process is tainted



To the editor:

At what point does someone step in and actually stop a wrongfully executed process?

As parents across Washington County have fought the building of Eastern Primary School and the current redistricting proposal, we have been cited rules, regulations and legal constraints.

On Oct. 21, I sent an e-mail to the school board, as well as the state board (and to date, has still not been acknowledged) in reference to the Facilities Enrollment and Advisory Committee (FEAC) directly violating a regulation from The Establishment of School Attendance Areas Regulations, specifically File JCA-R, whereby FEAC must be nonpartisan. This is a simple, easily understood and clear regulation.

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