More than one person has forwarded along this story, of the Obama Administration’s latest attempt to make an end-run around the Constitution.
Justice Department attorneys are advancing an argument at the Supreme Court that could allow the government to invoke international treaties as a legal basis for policies such as gun control that conflict with the U.S. Constitution, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Their argument is that a law implementing an international treaty signed by the U.S. allows the federal government to prosecute a criminal case that would normally be handled by state or local authorities.
That is a dangerous argument, according to Cruz.
“The Constitution created a limited federal government with only specific enumerated powers,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner prior to giving a speech on the issue today at the Heritage Foundation.
“The Supreme Court should not interpret the treaty power in a manner that undermines this bedrock protection of individual liberty,” Cruz said.
On the surface, this appears to be a naked power grab by the executive branch. A President constrained by the Constitution and laws of the United States could simply have his Secretary of State sign any treaty he desires, and then use that treaty signing to assert expanded executive branch powers.
Presumably, among the first powers that this President would include the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that Secretary of State John Kerry signed on Obama’s orders that the U.S. Senate refused to ratify because of fears that it could be in conflict with the Second Amendment.
If this is indeed what Department of Justice and Obama White House intend, they are playing a very dangerous game that could result in an open revolt against an Administration that is already plummeting in popularity.