An Ice Cream Victory on UN Treaty. . .for now
“Go have some ice cream!” urged Michael Farris, august chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Home School Legal Defense Association chairman.
It was a pleasant Saturday. As a mom who was a former member of HSLDA, I was ecstatic. And thinking double chocolate.
Earlier that third Saturday of September 2012, at 4:30 a.m., the Senate adjourned to jog the campaign trail until November’s lame duck session. Three Republican Senators joined the Democrats to move it out of committee. Congressional daily digests, however, show the Senate never called for a ratifying vote on CRPD, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Like Home School Legal Defense Association many parental rights groups actively engaged against ratification. They called, texted, petitioned alarming concern about potential, global sovereignty over parenting choices of special-needs children, from conception to guardian adulthood.
Some Legislators stated that, if signed, the convention would bring up the world’s standards to that of the United States. One Senator who voted the Treaty out of committee, John Isakson (R-GA), told this writer that the treaty was “non-self executing.” In the Senate declaration, he insisted, there exists language that should “create no new obligations or laws” in the United States by the UN.
“Sen. Isakson voted in favor of the Convention in the committee because ratification would signal to the world that the U.S. is committed to continuing its role as the international leader in disability rights,” Isakson’s press secretary Marie Gordon said. “It will not erode our sovereignty.”*
Senator Rick Santorum, father to a special child, begged to differ. For him ratification would give the U.N. controlling oversight over the health and educational choices parents of children with disabilities face. On his activist website Patriot Voices, Santorum wrote, “It is outrageous that the government could tell me and you what is best for our children, particularly when they’ve never met the child.”
Moreover, the Senator averred that under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, if the treaty were to be passed by the Senate then it would become the law of the land. The federally ratified treaty would “trump state laws.” This, in itself would rile many a states’ rights conservative.
Director of Communications and Research for ParentalRights.org, Michael Ramey, questioned Senator Isakson’s counterclaim of self non-execution.
If the treaty is to have no effect, why should we ratify it? And why should other nations of the world take our ratification seriously when it is accompanied by the understanding that we will take no action to apply it in our country? **
For the next month and a half the Senate will finally take action, not on Capitol Hill, but on pivotal, election campaign stops. For now this mom and other concerned parents and special-needs’ caregivers can take a break from D.C. faxes, cell calls, and emails on CRPD. Instead, they can scoop up ice cream.
“Put some toppings on it,” added Chancellor Farris, “Have seconds.”
Come November it will be interesting to note if parental rights groups and moms like me be re-energized or too holiday busy to act as the lame duck Congress rush a Mc-flurry of bills forward. Will the Senate add a dollop of U.N. whipped up parental control? Or will We the People prevail?