I have criticized Justice Holmes for concluding — in one unreasoned sentence — that treaties can increase the legislative power of Congress.
And, of course, the very idea is pernicious, because it gives the Congress and the Executive a back door through which they can avoid Constitutional limits set on the state via enumerated powers.
In other words, the theory offered proposes that if the United States government should sign and ratify a treaty with another nation requiring that the United States institute slavery, then we would have to do so, no matter what the Constitution has to say on the issue.
Or a more poignant example: The US government signs on to a United Nations treaty banning firearms in private hands. This theory would then say that the government could ignore the Second Amendment entirely, and ban and confiscate all 300 million or so firearms currently held by private citizens.
By the way: Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a big fan of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.?