Constitutionalists and others concerned about U.S. sovereignty have long worried that Democrats would try to ram certain UN agreements — the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) — through the Senate during the lame-duck session following the November elections. What they may not have anticipated, however, is that those same politicians would try to sneak those treaties past their colleagues by other means.
According to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), that is exactly what Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill., pictured left of Senate seal) attempted during a sparsely attended session on the evening of Sept. 20. C-FAM reports that “with just a few people on the Senate floor,” Durbin “tried to pass the Disability treaty by unanimous consent.” Had he succeeded, the treaty would have been ratified with no recorded vote.
Fortunately, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah, pictured right of Senate seal) was in attendance when Durbin tried to pull this stunt — and put a stop to it.
Earlier that day Lee and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) had circulated a letter asking the Senate leadership not to bring treaties up for a vote during the upcoming lame-duck session. “The writers of the Constitution clearly believed that all treaties presented to the Senate should undergo the most thorough scrutiny before being agreed upon,” the letter read.
When Durbin announced that he wanted to pass CRPD by unanimous consent, Lee objected, saying, “If it is true that it is too fast to move a treaty through during a lame duck, then it’s also too fast to move it through now.” With Lee, Toomey, and another 35 senators opposed to passing any treaty until the new Congress convenes in January, Durbin’s backdoor attempt at imposing the CRPD on America was thwarted.
There are plenty of good reasons to oppose CRPD. “Supporters and opponents agree the treaty does not improve existing law,” observes C-FAM.
Meanwhile, writes John Birch Society President John F. McManus:
The goal of this additional intrusion into our nation’s affairs isn’t as much about addressing the difficulties of persons with handicaps as it’s about the UN gaining supremacy over the laws and legal processes of our country and others. CRPD would require all participating countries to submit reports to a “committee of experts.” It seeks to grant governments and the UN itself authority to decide, for instance, whether parents of a disabled child are complying with the measure’s broad requirements. Its loose definitions leave open intrusion into an array of areas that are currently being addressed by nations that already have humane laws and practices.
Additionally, by requiring nations to provide the handicapped with “affordable healthcare” that includes abortion, CRPD has delighted feminists and earned the backing of the pro-abortion lobby. A pertinent phrase appearing in the CRPD calls for guarantees that the handicapped and disabled will be assured “reproductive health,” something defined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she told a congressional panel that “reproductive health includes access to abortion.” Mrs. [Phyllis] Schlafly also sees a potential for CRPD to threaten homeschooling families, especially any with children who are handicapped or disabled. The UN’s “committee of experts” would decide whether a family is acting responsibly.
Indeed, as Home School Legal Defense Association Chairman Michael Farris asked during his testimony against CRPD before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Why do Germany and Sweden ban homeschooling and persecute and harass homeschooling parents despite their ratification of human rights treaties which promise that the rights of parents to choose alternatives to public education are prior to the claims of the state?”
CRPD, he added, “promote[s] the idea that government, not parents, have the ultimate voice in decisions concerning their children.”
Thanks to Sen. Lee, the attempt to rush CRPD through the Senate has been stopped — for now. Yet one can be relatively certain that Democrats and their globalist allies in the GOP will not be content to wait until January, at which point some of them may no longer be in office, to try to breeze CRPD and other UN treaties past unwary colleagues and voters. Like the Minutemen of the American Revolution, today’s lovers of liberty must be ever vigilant for new attacks on their country’s sovereignty and their own God-given freedoms.