They Never Stop

The Volokh Conspiracy » Missouri v. Holland: The Intellectual History That Preceded The Holding

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.?

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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