Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

International Crimes

                    The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.10:  "The Congress shall have Power … To define and punish… Offences against the Law of Nations."  This principle in the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority and the responsibility to determine and to define crimes against the United States by other nations.  (This is usually known as international law.)

                    The Founders understood, and Gouverneur Morris pointed out, the necessity of defining laws before applying punishment.  In other words, a definite law needs to be determined before it can be punishable.  A good example of this principle would be for drivers to be ticketed for driving 65 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone without any signage telling the drivers that the speed had been decreased.  I have driven the Alaska Highway numerous times.  The basic speed along the Highway is 90 kilometers per hour, but the speed decreases rapidly when nearing small towns, villages, or collection of homes.  It would be very unfair to ticket drivers without first alerting them to change in speed required.

                    "Offenses against the law of nations are rules which `reason, morality, and custom' have established among civilized nations of Europe as their public law.  Since the United Nations was organized there has been an attempt to bring the members under the World Court, where these laws can be enforced against the citizens of the member countries.  For several reasons this is a dangerous practice.  First of all, Americans could be hauled up without any protection from their own Bill of Rights.  Furthermore, people are often appointed to sit on this court who are sympathetic to the Communist [or Muslim] philosophy….  When the United States agreed to have international disputes settled by this court, the Connelly Reservation provided that the United States would reserve the right to determine when the court would have jurisdiction over its American citizens.  Several Presidents have tried to get the Connelly Reservation repealed as a gesture of `good faith and good will' toward the World Court concept.  Congress, however, has continued to consider the World Court unsatisfactory as a fair tribunal to settle international problems because of the way it is presently structured."  (W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 436.)

It is interesting to me that one of the communist goals of 1958 was to "Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems.  Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike."  More about communist goals will be posted in a few days (October 6, 2011). 

I was very curious to learn which of our Presidents desired the Connelly Reservation to be repealed so I started doing some research on the matter.  I found the following information under the date of Monday, September 5, 1960, at

"Through Washington this week spanged the opening shots of a battle over whether or not the U.S. will work wholeheartedly to help develop a world rule of law.  The battleground was the 83rd annual meeting of the American Bar Association.  Drawn up on one side were the forces that want the U.S. to lead in establishing a workable system of international law, on the other a determined rear guard that is ready to fight tooth-and-nail to halt a necessary practical step.  Point at issue is the so-called Connally Reservation, by which the U.S. reserves the right to label any international dispute involving itself as a `domestic' issue and thus escape jurisdiction by the World Court at The Hague.  The reservation was highballed through the Senate by Texas' Tom Connally in 1946.  The following year the A.B.A resoundingly urged its repeal on grounds that the Connally Reservation, rather than protecting the U.S., would cripple the workings of the World Court to the eventual detriment of U.S. interests.  A bipartisan campaign to repeal the Connally Reservation has won the backing of President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, Secretary of State Herter, Attorney General William Rogers, Democratic Senators Hubert Humphrey, J. William Fulbright and John Kennedy.  It may pass the Senate next year.  Hoping to influence the Senate's decision, a conservative faction in the A.B.A. has been working hard to persuade the bar association to reverse its 13-year stand in condemnation of the Connally Reservation."  

Three Presidents of the United States were listed in that paragraph - Eisenhower, Nixon, and Kennedy.  I tried to find something definite on more recent Presidents, but couldn't.  I did find the following at  

"Before ratifying the United Nations Charter in 1945, the Senate was wise enough to amend the section dealing with the World Court by barring the Court from jurisdiction over matters which were essentially domestic "AS DETERMINED BY THE UNITED STATES."  Those six words, authored by Senator Tom Connally (D-Tex), are known as the `Connally Reservation" and are the only thing which COULD prevent the World Court from interfering in American internal affairs on the pretext that our tariffs, immigration laws, school curriculums, etc. affect American relations with other countries and are therefore `foreign' and not `domestic.'  Very powerful interests in Washington have been trying to get that `Connally Reservation' repealed ever since."

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