As I predicted last night, this morning the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case, Bond versus the United States. Common sense as well as judicial caution prevailed. The Justices all agreed that the Federal government had no business using a statute enacted to implement a chemical weapons ban treaty to prosecute and convict a woman who poisoned her husband's lover. Amen to that. Justices also wisely elected not do any creative rearranging of our federalism system as outlined in the Constitution.
Everyone who supports the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including Senators Harkin and Menendez, are ready to proceed to markup and a Senate floor vote. Hallelujah.
The way the Justices acted has removed one of the major arguments of the opposition for not ratifying the CRPD. The opposition contended that CRPD ratification, and I suspect ratification of any treaty, would undo the balance of power between the state and federal governments. The ruling in the Bond case reflected unequivocally this is not going to happen under the Roberts' court. John Roberts is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is a relatively young person.
Being the optimist that I am, I hope that some Senators, especially those who have objected to the ratification of the CRPD on sovereignty grounds, will now sit down and talk to Senator Menendez and help develop a bipartisan resolution to get the CRPD passed by a wide margin.
Perhaps finally we can get a tally on where each Senator stands on the CRPD. Who has language to put in a resolution to address their concerns? Who wants to wait and see a final draft? Who will never support a resolution on a treaty regardless of what is in the text. We need six more Senators to support treaty ratification to get a CRPD resolution passed. The magic number is 67 votes . I think we can get more than the six we need to hit 67.
Here's what we each need to do.
Contact our Senators and ask where they stand, and report what we learn back to Eileen Dombrowski at USICD.
Encourage our friends family, and colleagues to do the same.
Encourage veterans to contact their Senators as well.
Encourage business people to contact their Senators too.
We know the drill. The end is in sight. Now let's get ratification done.