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Old April 16, 2010, 12:28 PM   #36
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,189
Originally Posted by Antipitas
I submit that it is not as clear as everyone makes it.

But there are actually three separate issues here: The first is one of principle: can a treaty, once ratified by the Senate, legally trump the Constitution? I was addressing this in my post (which was moved here from another thread, I presume by Glenn Meyer when he closed that one) -- and I think it's fairly clear that the answer to that question is no.

Second, however, is that this is complicated by the fact that not everyone interprets the Constitution in the same way, and so people disagree as to what counts as "trumping" it.

And third, of course, is that the President and Congress now routinely flout the Constitution in the name of national security -- obvious examples being the egregious history of the Patriot Act (mainly under the previous Administration), the NSA's ongoing warrantless spying on U.S. citizens, and the U.S. Government's current project of assassinating Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki , who, no matter how reprehensible his support for terrorism, is an American citizen and entitled to due process.

Given they've established that national security trumps the Constitution, there's no reason to assume that they won't ignore it in other areas, or merely label everything a matter of "national security"...

So, yes, while simple in principle, of course it's far less clear in practice.
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