Sunday, June 1, 2014

The CRPD and Bond vs. the United States

Any day now we should hear about the Supreme Court's decision in the Bond case. The case involved a woman who tried to poison her husband's lover. You would think that a case like that would be left to the state in which it transpired, but it was not. The U.S. government became involved using implementing legislation enacted to fulfill and describe how we would comply with an international chemical weapons treaty. Huh? What's this pending decision have to do with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)?

Everyone is on pins and needles and full of suspense. Because -- the court decision in this case could change or leave unchanged how the Supreme Court views U.S. sovereignty as spelled out in the Constitution. In the Constitution sovereignty deals with which powers are held by the federal government and which powers are held by the states. If the Supreme Court rules that the federal government took enforcement action under the law related to the international chemical weapons treaty on unconstitutional grounds, it would be saying that state law can't be undone or ignored in the name of an international treaty. Or, if it rules the other way, it would be saying that the federal government can intervene and take action under a law passed related to an international treaty, basically trumping state law.

With regard to the CRPD, no new laws are required so I can't see how a Supreme Court decision in the Bond case would apply to it. However, those in opposition to CRPD ratification have been trying to link it to the pending Bond decision. Since opponents to the CRPD see it as something all powerful -- that will undo the division of power between the federal and state governments; make the federal government the final authority on all things related to disability rights; and make the words in the CRPD the basis for all legal interpretations -- they are waiting and hoping for a decision that will let them say, "We told you so." With that, they think they will be able to kill any chance of ratification of the CRPD. They think all Senators sitting on the sidelines would agree with anti-CRPD forces.

We could get the Supreme Court's ruling on Monday, June 2nd.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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