Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Michael Farris Responds to AP

Michael Farris has written an article titled Children's Rights Legally Binding and Absurd at In this article Farris is responding to the recent AP article mentioned earlier in this blog. He points out the fallacy of the statements made by supporters of the treaty and specifically refers to some statements made by Jonathan Todres, a professor at Georgia State. Farris brings out some excellent points and I highly recommend that you read the entire article. He not only explains how signing the treaty makes it legally binding on the US because of the supremacy clause that exists in our constitution by stating this:
It is not difficult to discern the legal impact of a ratified treaty on our domestic law. It’s spelled out plainly in the text of the U.S. Constitution. Article VI states that, along with the U.S. Constitution and federal law, ratified treaties “shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Treaties trump state law.
He also makes an excellent point about what kind of statement it makes the rest of the world when supporters of the treaty suggest that we should sign it because our signature does not make it binding or obligate us to follow it if we do.
Ratify the treaty, they say. It’s not legally binding. We can choose what to obey and what not to.

This argument is not only patently hypocritical, it is legally wrong.

The most important principle of international law is: pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept). In other words, keep your promises.

Make no mistake, whenever the United States ratifies a treaty it enters into a binding legal obligation to comply with its terms. Arguing that a treaty is a mere philosophical statement of intent with no binding legal consequences is blatant error. Besides, what message does this send to the international community the Obama administration seems desperate to please?

Arguing that America can enter into treaties and then comply on piecemeal basis undermines our international reputation. Worse, it suggests that America cannot be trusted to keep its promises.

He is correct, this entire series of arguments for ratification makes absolutely no sense. Why fight so hard for something you have no intention of keeping. The truth is the people that make such claims know that this treaty will be binding, they simply do not want the average American to know it. They want a law that not only trumps state law but also grants to them the authority to approve of how we all raise our children. As Farris correctly concludes in the article:
Under this treaty, every decision made about children —whether by government or parents— is subject to governmental review. Armed with the CRC, any social worker can second-guess any parent based on an opinion that the parents’ choice was not in the “best interest” of the child. Under this subjective standard, no family is safe from governmental intrusion.
You will want to read his response in its entirety at for it he shares information that every American needs to know about this treaty including how some judges are already applying it to their decisions before it has even been ratified. The decisions they make based upon their assumption that this treaty is binding reveals just how much power this will have if it ever is ratified. Parents will lose their right to train their children according to their own convictions and instead will begin to fear what the government will do or say about every decision they make. This is not the direction our country needs to go. Visit to find out more about the proposed amendment that will guarantee that treaties will never take away our rights to raise our children and find out what you can do to help.

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