The U.S. Senate on Tuesday rejected a UN treaty submitted for ratification by President Barack Obama.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed by Obama, then submitted to the Senate for ratification pursuant to the U.S. Constitution, which requires two-thirds of the Senate (67 senators) to approve.
The Senate failed to ratify this treaty by a vote of 61-38.
While some of the objectives of the treaty might be good policy, it would forfeit American sovereignty to the United Nations on critical aspects of how this nation cares for people with disabilities and, for that matter, who gets to decide what conditions qualify as disabilities. It would also particularly undermine parental authority regarding their children. Under this treaty, the United States would be bound under international law to abide by the U.N.’s decisions, trumping both federal and state laws to the contrary.
But this is not the end of the story. Some “no” votes were from senators who signaled that they did not think this treaty should be hastily ratified in this “lame duck” session of Congress, but they might reconsider next year. Obama was only six votes shy of ratification today and will almost certainly push for another vote in the next Congress.