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Treaty by Decree
Obama’s end-run around the Senate, and the Constitution


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Uncertain it can persuade a dozen Republicans to err again, the administration is considering a Russian deal without Senate approval. According to his spokesman, Secretary of State Kerry told senators that they “would be consulted as we moved forward into discussions with the Russian Federation, but did not indicate that the administration had decided to codify any results in a treaty.” Unnamed administration officials say Washington and Moscow could engage in reciprocal weapons cuts without a written agreement.

Senators of both parties should stop this assault on the separation of powers. As advisers to George W. Bush, we supported vigorous executive authority to protect our national security after 9/11 through measures that included withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia. When Bush proposed negotiating nuclear cuts with Russia and prompted the Biden-Helms convergence, however, he wanted the agreement to undergo the Constitution’s treaty process. Even though Bush was urged to resort to a scheme of reciprocal reductions, he wisely placed constitutional text and historical practice first.


Contents
August 5, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 14

Articles
Features
  • Face of the lawless bureaucracy.
  • Obama’s end-run around the Senate, and the Constitution.
  • Felix Rodriguez, freedom fighter and patriot.
  • Hospitals are to blame for obscene health-care costs.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Charles Crawford reviews Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography: From Grantham to the Falklands, by Charles Moore .
  • Daniel Foster reviews The Founding Conservatives: How a Group of Unsung Heroes Saved the American Revolution, by David Lefer.
  • Edward Feser reviews Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism, by Robert P. George.
  • Florence King reviews Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch, by Barbara A. Perry.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Joss Whedon’s film Much Ado About Nothing.
Sections
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .