Right Hooks

Sen. Cotton's Letter to Iran Is Firmly Constitutional

Mar. 12, 2015

After the Senate sent its letter to Iran explaining whatever deal John Kerry is currently negotiating would not be a lawful treaty, the Left and its “constitutional scholars” think the 47 senators should be tried for treason. In a White House petition, over 200,000 people said, “United States Senators committed a treasonous offense when they decided to violate the Logan Act, a 1799 law which forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.” And they actually think this petition will get legal legs. Let’s start with the Constitution, which says in Article II Section 2 that 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 [emphasis added].” John Yoo writes at National Review that Obama could make some kind of agreement with Iran, namely a sole executive agreement, which would only be binding with the Obama administration itself. He continues, “But as a matter of constitutional law, the Cotton letter should be no more controversial than a letter that simply enclosed a copy of the U.S. Constitution (without President Obama’s editing).” No, it is the Obama administration that is circumventing the Constitution, as even Kerry admitted that “we’re not negotiating a legally binding plan.” More…

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