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Scholars Say ACTA Needs Senate Approval 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the setting-us-up-for-disappointment-when-they-ratify-it dept.
suraj.sun passes along this excerpt from Wired: "More than 70 academics, mostly legal scholars, are urging President Barack Obama to open a proposed international intellectual-property agreement to public review before signing it. The likely route for that is bringing the [Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement] to the Senate for ratification. ... the intellectual property accord, which Obama could sign by year's end, has pretty much been hammered out in secret between the European Union, Japan, the United States and a few other international players, including Canada and Australia. Noticeably absent is China. That said, these academics suggested that Obama does not have the authority to unilaterally sign the accord, which has been in the works for three years and is nearly final. Instead, they said, it should be considered a treaty, necessitating two-thirds Senate approval."
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Scholars Say ACTA Needs Senate Approval

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  • Doesn't anyone read the constitution anymore? Animal Farm here we come.
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:30AM (#34061658) Homepage

      For the curious, Article 2, Section 2:
      "[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."

      Treaties of the United States have to be ratified by the Senate. This is hardly news.

      • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:35AM (#34061700)

        Yes, but Obama is trying to pass this off as being something other than a treaty.

        • by Shakrai (717556) * on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:41AM (#34061746) Journal

          That can't be, he ran on a platform of openness and transparency.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)

            The central position in government is trying to pull more power into it's office ?

            Stop the presses !

            Besides, Americans are really lucky. In European countries (all EU member states), international treaties only have to be ratified by the minister of foreign affairs, and take precedence over the constitution of the signatory countries. Obama's simply trying to destroy the sovereignty of America the way Barosso succeeded in doing to the European countries.

            Barosso destroyed the sovereignty of these countries,

            • *Barroso, the fucking son of a bitch who forced us to support the Irak war despite major public opposition (a rally of 80 000, which is rare here) before escaping to the EC mid-term.

          • by VolciMaster (821873) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:39AM (#34062372) Homepage

            That can't be, he ran on a platform of openness and transparency.

            And this has been ongoing for over 3 years, which means Mr Obama didn't even originate it.

            • by ffreeloader (1105115) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:01PM (#34064424) Journal

              That can't be, he ran on a platform of openness and transparency.

              And this has been ongoing for over 3 years, which means Mr Obama didn't even originate it.

              What's that got to do with it? He's going to implement it, and bypass Congress to do it if he can get away with it. He is not required to complete something this stupid. He's going to implement it because increasing government power, with the necessarily required reduction in personal freedom that a more powerful government is predicated upon, is his goal. The sum of everything he's done since he's been in office is: more power to government, less freedom for the individual.

              • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:39PM (#34065800)
                How can he bypass Congress to implement it? Just take it as law and start enforcing it with the FBI? That won't work the first time a case gets in front of a judge. Even "real" treaties aren't held as the law they supposedly are, and instead actual laws are passed to enforce the treaty. The President can sign anything he damn well pleases. There's nothing against him signing used toilet paper and writing "good for one free Ford at your local dealer" on it. It won't be law. It won't be enforceable. But he can sign it. He can sign this treaty. I wish the "scholars" would shut the hell up and let him sign it and assert that it doesn't need approval. Then, when it gets enforced the first time, the whole damn thing is thrown out.

                The sum of everything he's done since he's been in office is: more power to government, less freedom for the individual.

                Name the last president who didn't live by that motto. Depending on your political leanings, I'd guess the most recent ones you could argue that about would be Carter or Eisenhower, but I'd put my money on either the forgettable presidents in Laissez Faire or George Washington (who in his insight, indicated in his fairwell address, that a party system would be the downfall of the country, and it may have taken a while to manifest, but it seems to be the case now).
                • by ffreeloader (1105115) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:36PM (#34066606) Journal

                  How can he bypass Congress to implement it?

                  By doing just what's being discussed here, by claiming the ACTA isn't a treaty and attempting to use an Executive Agreement to give it the force of law. If he gets away with that he's bypassed the Senate.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by AK Marc (707885)
                    No executive order has ever been held to have the force of law unless it was a specific direction of an existing law. No new law has ever been enforced by signing statement or executive order.

                    I can see how people fearing the worst will assert all manner of evil to someone they don't like, but I fail to see how he's going to get away with something that everyone who's ever even wiped their ass with the Constitution knows is illegal. If Obama is correct, that the treaty is exportation of US law and thus ne
          • by SirGarlon (845873)
            I guess whether being "open" and "transparent" is a good thing or not depends on whether you're also "honest" and "courageous".
          • Whether you like it or not he won't hide it from you and be open about doing it.

        • by mcvos (645701) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:43AM (#34061764)

          I don't understand why Obama is so hung up on the ACTA. The negotiations started before he came to power, didn't they? Why is it his baby? Or is he just talking with the same lobbyists?

          • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:44AM (#34061780) Homepage

            Reason: GOP gets Chamber of Commerce support, Dems get Hollywood support.

            • by sjs132 (631745)
              No, the real reason is they are all on the same team, they just switch shirts occasionally to confuse us. In reality, what one starts, the other will finish because it is still a power for the puppet masters that are really in charge. WAKE UP SHEEPEOPLE! I wish it was as easy as putting on a pair of cool sunglasses, but you have to PAY ATTENTION!
              • by JWW (79176)

                wish it was as easy as putting on a pair of cool sunglasses

                Ain't that the truth, but alas that only works in "They Live."

                • by sjs132 (631745)
                  Yep, it was a cool movie in a 'B' way, but isn't that what makes it great. :)
              • by Surt (22457)

                The reality is: enough of us are awake, but the elections are rigged, so it doesn't matter.

                • by mcvos (645701)

                  If enough of you were awake, you'd all vote for a party that wanted to change the system, and you'd burn the offices of Diebold to the ground.

      • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:40AM (#34061734) Journal

        The question comes down to whether this is a Treaty, which would require the advice and consent of 2/3rds of the Senate, or whether it's an Executive Agreement, which ultimately comes down to just an agreement between the executive branches of other agreeing nations and signed by the Executive. Nowadays, Executive Agreements are the norm in foreign policy and not Treaties.

        • by mcvos (645701)

          But surely an Executive Ageement has nowhere near the same power as a Treaty, right? My guess is that a Treaty is pretty much a law (sometimes stronger than a law, because a country can't unilaterally repeal it), whereas an Executive Treaty is more like saying: "how about we let our navies train together?".

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by BZ (40346)

            Reading through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_Clause [wikipedia.org] it sounds like one major difference is that a Treaty allows something that would otherwise be unconstitutional to be done by the federal government (see the part about "can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states").

            Also note that according to the same article these distinctions are only relevant for internal US purposes; all these agreements are seen as equivalent in international la

            • by mcvos (645701)

              So basically a president can create whatever laws he wants without interference by the Senate, as long as he can give an international spin to it and can get at least one other country to do the same?
              And it shouldn't be too unconstitutional, of course.

              Sounds like an awful lack of checks and balances.

              • by gtall (79522)

                I think it would come down to what happens in an American court were a case to come up that violated an executive agreement. Does anyone know of a precedent?

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by pavon (30274)

                No - executive agreements are limited in that they can only agree to things which the executive already has the power to enforce (ie things that are already laws). In this case, ACTA basically amounted to exporting the DMCA to other countries, thus administration took the point of view that no changes to the law were needed to enforce this agreement; thus it did not need to be treated as a treaty or need any congressional ratification.

                These law scholars are arguing that the current draft does have sections

            • >>>a Treaty allows something that would otherwise be unconstitutional to be done by the federal government

              Does that include Amendment 1? Or 2? Or 4? Or 5? Just sign a treaty, get 2/3rd of Senate approval, and those pesky rights can be nullified?

          • An executive agreement does not really create new law, it just 'organizes' the authority granted to the executive branch in a specific manner. The agreement is on the manner of applying such power.

            For example, if Congress passed a law which granted an agency under the control of the executive to do XYZ, but it was currently only doing YZ, an executive agreement could be signed which said that the Government would now ALSO do X. (Or it could also say it would stop doing Z and just do XY).

            If the agreement w

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Sonny Yatsen (603655) *

            Executive Agreements can have essentially the same scope as a Treaty. The primary difference between a Treaty and an Executive Agreement in its effect is the priority of supremacy they are applied.

            We know from the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution that:

            This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. - Art. VI, Sec. 2

            However, within the federal laws themselves, there is a further priority of supremacy. Federal laws cannot be made in contradiction of the Constitution - for the Constitution is Supreme. Similarly, a federal statute can't be made in contradiction of a Trea

            • by mcvos (645701) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:14AM (#34062860)

              An Executive agreement tends to sit just slightly above federal laws, but they cannot contradict any treaties or the Constitution itself. What's the practical effect of this? Not much - but it is easier to strike them down in a court, I suppose.

              So an Executive Agreement has higher supremacy than a law, despite the fact that the legislature has no say in it?

              Just pointing out the gaping hole in the system.

              • by TheEyes (1686556)

                "Tends to." This sort of thing hasn't yet been fully tested in court yet; it may be that Executive Agreements are inferior to federal law, or it may not. I'm unsure if there has been a single test case yet.

          • But surely an Executive Ageement has nowhere near the same power as a Treaty, right? My guess is that a Treaty is pretty much a law (sometimes stronger than a law, because a country can't unilaterally repeal it)

            Countries can generally unilaterally repudiate treaties under international law, and in US law it is well established that an act of Congress can limit or abolish the legal force, under US law, of a treaty.

            But, yes, Executive Agreements have pretty much exactly the same force as unilateral executive

        • Ok, I'll admit I've never heard of such a thing before, so I have to ask, exactly how is that not a treaty, just using a different name to try to skirt approval requirements?

          • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:42AM (#34062408)

            The same way the president can issue edicts that are not laws, they're "Executive Orders." Or the Guantanamo prisoners are not prisoners of war, they're "Enemy Combatants." Or security for the G8 summit is not suppressing dissent, it's "designating Free Speech Zones." Sometimes the law or the Constitution is inconvenient to the President, so he makes up a new label for something he's not allowed to do, and decrees that the law or Constitution doesn't apply because of that label.

            This is not a Democrat/Republican thing: George W. Bush and Obama are pretty different from one another yet they have both used these shenanigans routinely. It's a "power corrupts" thing. (Or perhaps a "Congress is asleep at the wheel" thing, or a "why haven't the people stormed the White House with torches and pitchforks?" thing.)

            • Yeah but most all of the executive orders are on issues the executive branch does control. I don't understand how that's the case with treaty situations.

              Guantanamo is a mil base, well under exec jurisdiction, and no actual war has been declared, so its hard to call them prisoners of war. I don't particularly like the fact that non citizens are not getting reasonable protections from prosecution, but there is an argument there at least for justification.

              Free speech zones I do take issue with, though its hard

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Shakrai (717556) *

              "why haven't the people stormed the White House with torches and pitchforks?"

              I was planning on storming the White House last week but then I remembered that American Idol was on.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Teancum (67324)

              One thing about an executive order is that it is an "order" from the President to an employee of the U.S. government telling them how they are supposed to do their job. A simply and ordinary law passed by Congress can override this order, so it is subordinate to legislation passed by Congress.

              Since the U.S. government is so huge and expansive, and the authority of even individual agents and employees so expansive, an executive order can have the effect and impact often that a law has, including the interpr

        • The question comes down to whether this is a Treaty, which would require the advice and consent of 2/3rds of the Senate, or whether it's an Executive Agreement

          Is it torture, or enhanced interrogation? Is that a janitor or a fixed infrastructure maintenance technician? Is it one honest word or many words to hide the truth?

          • The question comes down to whether this is a Treaty, which would require the advice and consent of 2/3rds of the Senate, or whether it's an Executive Agreement

            Is it torture, or enhanced interrogation? Is that a janitor or a fixed infrastructure maintenance technician? Is it one honest word or many words to hide the truth?

            "It" is clearly one word, not many, which by your own dichotomy means that it must be honest.

            Eivind.

        • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:08AM (#34062024)

          The question comes down to whether this is a Treaty, which would require the advice and consent of 2/3rds of the Senate, or whether it's an Executive Agreement, which ultimately comes down to just an agreement between the executive branches of other agreeing nations and signed by the Executive. Nowadays, Executive Agreements are the norm in foreign policy and not Treaties.

          er... yeah:

          The Congress shall have Power... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

          -- US Constitution [archives.gov], Article I Section 8.

          That would prevent an executive order from changing Copyright or Patent laws.

        • The advantage of an Executive Agreement (from the perspective of those who want to see the particular agreement put into force) is that it does not need to go through the messy process of Senate confirmation. The disadvantage of an Executive Agreement is that the next Presient can choose not to go along with it. From a legal standpoint in the U.S. and Executive Agreement has no more (and no less) force of law than an Executive Order.
        • >>>Executive Agreement

          Where on earth is this in the Constitution? In any case, it can't overrule the Legislative branch. They can't simply choose to ignore ACTA and pass whatever laws they wish.

      • For the curious, Article 2, Section 2: "[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."

        Treaties of the United States have to be ratified by the Senate. This is hardly news.

        So if only 3 senators are "present", only 2 need to agree?

        • by TheEyes (1686556)

          For the curious, Article 2, Section 2:
          "[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."

          Treaties of the United States have to be ratified by the Senate. This is hardly news.

          So if only 3 senators are "present", only 2 need to agree?

          By Constitution and by traditional Senate rules [wikipedia.org], the Senate can't pass anything without a quorum (usually a simply majority) of the Senators present. In theory, that means that a treaty could theoretically be passed with only 34 senators approving (51 present * 2/3), but realistically you're not going to find times where 49 Senators are off screwing around when the Senate is in session.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DragonWriter (970822)

        Treaties of the United States have to be ratified by the Senate.

        Sure, that's not controversial.

        Its also not controversial that there are international agreements that are not treaties, and that do not require ratification by a 2/3 vote of the Senate, particularly executive agreements that can be entered into unilaterally, and agreements that are implemented by adoption of normal legislation (which, while they require action in both houses of Congress, don't require a 2/3 vote in either.)

        Whether a particular

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kenj0418 (230916)

        ...have to be ratified by the Senate.

        Well, then it's a good thing the we don't have a bunch of Senators that are willing to do whatever the .*AA tell them to. Oh yeah -- damn, we're still screwed.

    • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:47AM (#34061806) Homepage

      I tell you, Bush Jr. is trampling all over the Constitution. I can't wait for the day he's replaced. ...

      Oops.

  • Scholars, you say? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:30AM (#34061652)
    When was the last time the president -- any president in recent memory -- ever listened to what scholars had to say, except when what they say supports his policy?
  • I keep seeing prominent law professors mentioned but I have been unable to find the actual list through multiple links to the article.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:32AM (#34061670)

    In brief, this article says: "Scholars are begging the President to take public input before signing an agreement worked out in secret with other government's leaders."

    Does that sound like democracy to you? Does it even sound like a democratic republic?

    Right now, we are ruled by a king (albeit an elected one, though elections of course are won by the best-funded) who we have to beg to take input from the people. There is no democracy in there at all.

    When will we learn to open source [metagovernment.org] all forms of governance, and let everyone have a real say in the things that deeply affect their own lives?

    A fancy form of direct democracy might not be perfect, but could it be any worse than this sort of plutocratic authoritarianism we live under now?

    • by Surt (22457)

      Sadly, nothing is going to change ... we're too far down the path of central control to escape without external intervention already. So our best bet is probably for the chinese army to liberate us.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      A fancy form of direct democracy might not be perfect, but could it be any worse than this sort of plutocratic authoritarianism we live under now?

      As soon as you figure out a way to keep the nearby city with a population of 1,000,000+ deciding that my area with a population of 2,000 isn't going to be their new landfill site, I'll be right there with you.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:47AM (#34061810)
    I cannot help but wonder if it is actually better if ACTA is treated as an executive agreement rather than a treaty. If it is treated as a treat and goes to Congress, it could pass. Especially considering how much clout this particular lobby has with Congress. And if it does get ratified, it will be very hard to nullify, not only because of the required domestic support, but also because of the negative consequences internationally of backing out of international agreements. It can affect a state's credibility in the short term, making other agreements more difficult, even in other areas such as defense or the environment. I also have not read the text of the agreement, so I am not sure what provisions-if any- exist within the agreement for nullification or renegotiation. Without provisions such as these, changes to the agreement are very unlikely. Contrast this with an executive agreement, which expires after the president that makes the agreement is no longer in office unless the new president extends it.

    I think I've been paying too much attention in my graduate International Institutions class.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      "international obligations" didnt stop the last guy ripping up various arms control treaties and pushing ahead with missile defense (even though the Russians objected)

      • by Nidi62 (1525137)

        "international obligations" didnt stop the last guy ripping up various arms control treaties and pushing ahead with missile defense (even though the Russians objected)

        And look what that (among other things) did for our reputation internationally.

      • The country that those arms control treaties were with no longer existed at the time. The arms control treaties that George W. Bush ignored were signed with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union no longer exists.
  • Copyright Law (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't put much hope in the senate. Copyright is a subject on which democrats and republicans are equally assholes.

  • by jasenj1 (575309) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:52AM (#34061860)

    Unless the Republicans take control of the Senate in a few days, the Senate is unlikely to question the President's authority. He can call it an Executive Agreement, or whatever he wants; a Senate controlled by his political party will most likely let him do what he likes. Then these law professors and whoever can file a law suit of some sort, it can wend its way through the court system for several years until the current players are out of office, and eventually 5-10 years (or more) from now the Supreme Court can decide if ACTA is really a Treaty that requires Senate approval or not.

    We are not a nation of laws, but a nation of political parties. Whichever party is in charge will pass whatever laws they want regardless of Constitutionality.

    Cynical? Just a bit.

    - Jasen.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      I would rather say you are optimistic, because this is positively rosy compared to how the future is going to wind up.

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:16AM (#34062122) Journal

      Even if Republicans take control of the Senate, it won't matter for ACTA. Intellectual property policy is one of the few truly bipartisan issues in Washington. ACTA is just not that big of a political issue for Republicans to want to halt for the purpose of obstructing Obama, and Republicans would have their own reasons for supporting it. There are only a couple of people who have been critical of ACTA in the Senate... Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown. Aside from that, not many other people are paying attention to it.

      Another indication it's bipartisan - remember, ACTA talks were started under the Bush administration. Then they continued, pretty much without a hitch, under the new Obama administration. Honestly that's pretty impressive, there aren't too many issues where you get that kind of continuity with a party change.

    • by jfengel (409917)

      a Senate controlled by his political party will most likely let him do what he likes.

      I admire your cynicism, but you need to apply a double layer of it here. The Democrats in the Senate have a miserable track record on doing what the President wants. They encompass a massive ideological range from Bernie Sanders (an independent who left the Democrats because they were too conservative) to Joe Lieberman (who left because they were too liberal).

      The President had a very hard time getting them all to agree, and legislation he proposed was heavily compromised by the time it was done. If the D

      • by Surt (22457)

        The democrats will pass it, and so will republicans. They are in pretty universal agreement on strict copyright law, and it would likely pass with 95+ votes.

    • The republicans support ACTA just as much - they wouldn't want to draw attention to it by objecting. They'll just find some other policy of his to disagree with. Most likely his desire to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. That one has sex in it, which is sure to grab the headlines.
    • by dwillden (521345)
      But it requires a 2/3 majority vote to ratify. President Obama has a difficult time even getting the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster, let alone an additional 6 votes to reach the 2/3rds margin required under the Constitution.

      Now that's not denying the fact that many republicans may support it, but with the current Tea Party movement kicking out many incumbents, that becomes less likely.

      And we have a Supreme Court that could even then nullify it on constitutional grounds. We have many problems and
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:14AM (#34062866) Homepage

      Well, you're missing the cases in which both parties get together to screw the little people over, such as the USA Patriot Act (the major reason I seriously hope Russ Feingold keeps his seat).

    • Unless the Republicans take control of the Senate in a few days, the Senate is unlikely to question the President's authority.

      The Republican Party isn't exactly known for favoring either limits on draconian measures to support copyright holders exclusive rights or limits on executive authority in international affairs, so, unless you are just hoping that they'll decide that this particular issue is something to hold up on the basis of "Obama wants it so we must oppose it", I wouldn't put much hope in Republ

  • Of course this is a treaty and of course it needs Senate approval, which it is highly unlikely to get.The attempt to do an end-run around this obligation is, frankly, sleazy and sufficient reason to oppose ACTA all by itself, even if all it did was support Mother's Day.

    • by Surt (22457)

      Unlikely to get? If ACTA goes to the Senate it will pass with 95+ votes. Everyone in both parties supports strict copyright enforcement.

      • by mbone (558574)

        Everybody supports all sorts of things in principle, but, in the country I live in, Republicans in practice rarely support Democratic initiatives, which this now is.

        And, it needs a 2/3 vote, so it wouldn't take much opposition to stop it.

        • by Surt (22457)

          They don't support it on principle, they support it on financing, and since this was started under GWB, I'm sure they can find a way to explain voting for it.

  • "Scholars say" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:12AM (#34062064) Homepage

    People shouldn't trust "scholars" on this subject. Just read the Constitution, it's right there. Here's a list of some great reasons why "legal scholars" are full of shit:

    1) The 2nd amendment is composed of two halves: a prepositional phrase (the part about a militia and a free state) and legal language. Scholars, for years, have argued that a damn prepositional phrase, which only served to explain some of the thought process the founding fathers had, trumps the actual command enforced against Congress (the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed).

    2) Legal scholars incorporated the first amendment against the states through the fourteenth amendment's privileges and immunities clause claiming it was as natural as breathing. For over a century they refused to acknowledge the same with the 2nd amendment. Ironic, since the first amendment explicitly mentions Congress in who shall not do the prohibiting, while the second amendment is already worded in such a way that it fits neatly against the states as well (as it does not mention Congress, in favor of a blanket prohibition).

    3) Dred Scott.

    4) Kelo v. New London's giant ass-raping of the public purpose clause of the 5th amendment.

  • While the Senate has lately been a cock-blocking do-nothing institution, I have a feeling they'd put aside party differences to ratify that document. Both sides are suckling at the teats of Big Entertainment, something a quick browse through Opensecrets.org will prove conclusively. So if you're planning to look to the Senate to shut that thing down, you're in for a big disappointment.
  • Sonny Yatsen wrote:
    Nowadays, Executive Agreements are the norm in foreign policy and not Treaties.

    A treaty that is ratified by 2/3rds of the Senate gains constitutional authority. Among other things it allows the federal government to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states.

    My interest in this subject stems from being a democracy activist. Most U.S. states have effectively outlawed private member based citizen parties.
    SEE Quote from 1927

    "Her
    • A treaty that is ratified by 2/3rds of the Senate gains constitutional authority. Among other things it allows the federal government to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states.

      Which is pretty much irrelevant in the case of ACTA, since Copyrights are an enumerated federal power, so federal authority to legislate to protect copyrights is already established and the Treaty Power isn't needed to overcome exclusive authority of the states in this area.

  • Brazilian Position (Score:3, Informative)

    by ColeonyxOnline (966334) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:35AM (#34062328)

    The Brazilian government has released a statement about the ACTA giving four reasons of concern to the country.

    1. - The agreement would shift the balance between right holders and consumers.
    2. - Brazil prefer these negotiations to happen in either the WTO or WIPO. Both seem a lot more open and transparent.
    3. - The agreement proposes only one remedy to the situation, repression.
    4. - The agreement encompasses more than just an understanding between a few nations and creates a whole structure that extends to other countries.

    Source: Brazilian intervention at TRIPS Council: ACTA [keionline.org]

  • "Scholars Say ACTA Needs Senate Approval" : Wise men say it needs Senate disapproval.

  • The US President can sign ACTA if he likes, but it doesn't mean the other 200+ countries have to slit their throats and sign ACTA - just to help out the USA's sinking economy.
  • by shuz (706678) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:22PM (#34064786) Homepage Journal
    Congress passed the Case Act of 1972, requiring the secretary of state to send to Congress within sixty days the text of "any international agreement, other than a treaty," to which the United States is a party. If the president decided that publication would compromise national security, he could transmit it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs under an injunction of secrecy removable only by the president. But presidents from Nixon to Clinton ignored or circumvented the statute, and congressional enforcement efforts have been largely ineffective. The source: http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/A-D/The-Constitution-Executive-agreements.html [americanfo...ations.com]

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