“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-6 in favor of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” I’ve outlined the insuperable problems with the CRPD on many occasions, e.g. here (see also here, here, etc.). It’s not clear why Sens. Robert Dole and John McCain would think the best way to honor American military veterans is to yield up U.S. sovereignty over large swaths of domestic governance. [Reuters]
- While Bond v. U.S. ruling was a letdown, notably absent was a liberal concurrence defending broad treaty power against critique of Thomas, Scalia et al [Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, Peter Spiro/Opinio Juris, Julian Ku and John Yoo, David Golove And Marty Lederman]
- Think before you ratify: in controlled experiment, framing proposed change in domestic law as “required by human rights treaty” boosted support especially among Republicans [Spiro/OJ; more on international human rights treaties here]
- Sen. Ted Cruz publishes “Limits To the Treaty Power” in Harvard Law Review Forum [FedSoc Blog, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz]
- “The Ever Expanding Role of Trade Agreements: Human Rights” [Simon Lester, Cato]
- EU brass, reformist NGOs insisted that Romania shut down international adoption. Too bad what happened then [Meghan Collins Sullivan/World Affairs Journal, Stephen Beale/National Catholic Register]
- UK plaintiff’s firm Leigh Day helping Caribbean nations in reparations suit against UK [Telegraph, related]
- Not so liberal: Russia cites U.N. Convention on Rights of the Child in rationalizing anti-gay legislation [Box Turtle Bulletin; related on illiberal treaty applications in internet censorship (related), marijuana (related, earlier)]
Decent articles on Stand Your Ground in the general press are relatively few, being far outnumbered by those that are sensationalist, axe-grinding or simply uninformed. So it’s nice to be able to recommend this one by Peter Jamison in the Tampa Bay Times [via Jacob Sullum].
In other news, a United Nations panel in Geneva monitoring compliance with international human rights law has questioned a wide range of United States domestic policies, including some states’ adoption of Stand Your Ground as well as lack of gun control and other offenses. “The committee is charged with upholding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a UN treaty that the US ratified in 1992.” Another reminder that treaties have consequences, and that ratification of other purported human rights treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), would not be without public consequences relating to many domestic policies. [Guardian]
Although we call it “rent control,” the key thing it controls is often not so much what you can charge for a lodging as whether you can ever reclaim it. This recluse successfully held out for $17 million to relinquish his moldy, squalid rented lodging at what is now 15 Central Park West. [New York Post]
P.S. But at least the U.N. likes the idea. While on the subject of legal insanity in NYC real estate: Andrew Rice, New York mag, “Why Run a Slum If You Can Make More Money Housing the Homeless?” I wrote about the epic New York City homeless-rights litigation in Schools for Misrule, and more links are here.
One (Hood v. AU Optronics) went for plaintiffs, the other (Daimler AG v. Bauman) for defendants, but both were unanimous, in another indication that the work of the Justices rises well above the silly caricature offered by critics like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (“wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business,” etc.) I explain at Cato at Liberty. While Justice Sotomayor in a separate concurrence took a different approach to the problems of general jurisdiction, it arrived at the same place with respect to the unreasonableness of suing Daimler in California over faraway conduct.
More: While concurring in the result of Daimler v. Bauman, Justice Sotomayor sharply differed on the reasoning, which resulted in some unusually strong language directed at her from Justice Ginsburg writing for the other eight Justices [Blackman] Eugene Volokh considers the foreign-law angle. (& welcome Amy Howe/SCOTUSBlog readers)
London real estate values have soared, and a furor has broken out on the Left over one large landlord’s announcement that it no longer welcomes government-assisted tenants (related story on U.S. Section 8). According to at least one professor of law, international human rights treaties require the United Kingdom to take affordable housing steps [Aoife Nolan, HuffPo U.K.] Good to be aware of these things before we start ratifying any more of them…
- Ball is rolling as Thernstrom, Kirsanow depart CRC: “U.S. National Human Rights Institution: A Bad Idea” [Steven Groves, Heritage] UN Women National Committees in US and 16 other countries advocate domestic policy change, just in case domestic pressure groups aren’t vocal enough;
- In big pickup for opponents of CRPD, the disabled-rights convention, Sen. Corker of Tennessee says he’ll oppose ratification [Josh Rogin, Daily Beast; timeline from pro-convention site; Betsy Woodruff, NRO; earlier here, etc.] Related: AMVETS pulls support.
- “Corporate war crimes begin” [James Stewart, Opinio Juris]
- “US to oppose UN climate ‘reparations’ proposal” [Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller]
- “What if Everyone Thought Congress Could Expand its Powers in Implementing Treaties?” [Duncan Hollis, Opinio Juris; earlier on Bond v. U.S. and Missouri v. Holland]
- “Kiobel Surprise: Unexpected by Scholars But Consistent with International Trends” [Eugene Kontorovich]
- U.N. agency upset that Uruguay has legalized marijuana [Jess Remington, Reason]
Gender governance quotas [Darren Rosenblum, Prawfs]
- U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities remains a bad, bad, bad, idea, but Senate Foreign Relations Committee has now scheduled hearings for Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 in effort to push it through;
- Proliferation of human rights treaties not necessarily good for, well, human rights [Jacob Mchangana et al. via Sullivan “Dish”; cf. David Kopel, NYT “Room for Debate” last year]
- Claim: Urban planning schemes are a human right [Wikipedia on “Right to the City”] U.N. Special Rapporteur calls for legally enforceable international right to food [UN]
- CRPD cited in Spain by group campaigning against “disability-selective abortion” [Pablo de Lora, Harvard “Bill of Health”]
- Some forms of national sovereignty OK after all? Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) cited in Indian tribal claims [Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Truthout] “Lakota to file UN Genocide Charges Against US, South Dakota” [Jeff Armstrong, CounterPunch]
- “N.Y. state appeals ruling opens courthouse door to foreign victims” [Alison Frankel] First post-Kiobel ATS case smacks down plaintiffs on South Africa claims [Julian Ku/Opinio Juris, Fed Soc Blog]
- Panel from Cato’s Constitution Day includes Kenneth Anderson discussing his excellent article on Kiobel in the Cato Supreme Court Review; also includes presentations by Ilya Somin on property rights and Andrew Grossman on City of Arlington, with Roger Pilon moderating [Cato video, podcast]
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, who is also a University of Arizona law professor, weighs in on the tribal side in Baby Veronica case [Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, earlier] Last year we discussed Mr. Anaya’s scolding of the U.S. government on Indian land claim issues. Just last week another official in the U.N. human rights apparatus upbraided the United States for hesitating to expose acquitted George Zimmerman to double jeopardy in the Trayvon Martin shooting.