By KrisAnne Hall
Mayors and governors cannot lawfully make treaties with foreign governments and this is why.
The Constitution of the United States is a contractual agreement between the States of the Union, the States are the parties to the contract and the Federal government is the product. When a new State becomes a part of these United States, they do so by legally agreeing to be bound by the terms of the existing contract.
The States, through that contract, delegate a few, defined powers and responsibilities to the federal government, while all powers not explicitly delegated within the contract are reserved to the individual States. Any alterations to the contract — to be clear, the U.S. Constitution — must be done through the amendment process of Article V.
Power over treaties delegated to the federal government
In general, there are two spheres of government authority — internal and external. The federal government’s sphere of delegated authority is intended to be primarily foreign in application, whereas the State’s sphere is domestic.
James Madison, the second president of the United States and Father of our Constitution, explained this power relationship in Federalist 45.
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
In a nutshell, the federal government was created by the States to be an Ambassador on behalf of the States in foreign affairs and carry out certain enumerated functions agreed upon by the States.
Article 2 section 2 clause 2 of the Constitution delegates the authority of treaties to the President and the Senate, as it is dealing with externalities. Since this power of making treaties is specifically delegated to the federal government, it is not a power that remains reserved to the States. Since treaties are an item that falls within the foreign sphere, it is by the Constitutional contract, not a power that either the State or local governments can lawfully engage in without fully jeopardizing every remaining term of the contract. It also invites foreign influence within the borders of the Republic by bypassing the Constitutional safeguards of full state representation through the Senate.
Power to make treaties and alliances prohibited to the States
George Washington, our first president, warned future generations of the great dangers of foreign influence.
“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”
To minimize the threat of foreign influence domestically, our framers established treaties to occur through a procedure that would ensure the interest of all the States, equally, and conducted in full view of the entire Union. To make this point clear, the designers of our Constitutional Republic ratified Article 1 section 10 clause 1 as a part of the contract that explicitly prohibits the States from making treaties or alliances with foreign governments:
“No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation…”
Therefore, in response to certain States attempting to make treaties or alliances with foreign governments, outside their authority as outlined by the Constitution, every other State must make a public declaration of non-compliance and opposition to these illegal agreements. If a mayor or other local entity attempts to make a treaty or alliance with a foreign government, the government of that State has an obligation to every other State in the Union to make a public statement of non-compliance on behalf of the people of the State and the Constitution of the United States.
It is true that each State is sovereign and independent. However, as sovereign governments each State agreed to delegate certain powers to the federal government to “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
When a State or local government engages in a power that has been constitutionally delegated to the federal government, and been specifically denied to individual states via the contract, they are not only violating the terms of the constitutional contract, they are putting the welfare, security, and domestic tranquility of the all States in jeopardy.
By making these rogue foreign agreements, these government agents are ultimately jeopardizing all American Liberty, now and in the future. In their actions, these governors and mayors are declaring the Union of States dead.
KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com
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