Ron Paul
2001 Ron Paul Chapter 33

International Criminal Court

10 May 2001

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2001 Ron Paul 33:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise to join Mr. DELAY in expressing serious concern over the subject matter of his amendment, that is, the International Criminal Court (ICC).

2001 Ron Paul 33:2
Considering the detestable substance of the balance of H.R. 1646, fortunately, the underlying bill is silent on the ICC other than to prohibit funds authorized for International Organizations from being used to advance the International Criminal Court. As such, I have some reservations with the amendment offered by Mr. DELAY because it singles out one class of American citizens for protection from ICC jurisdiction (thus violating the doctrine of equal protection), it supposes that if the Senate ratifies the ICC treaty, U.S. citizens would then be subject to the court it creates, and it illegitimately delegates authority over which U.S. citizens would be subject to the ICC to the U.S. president. Moreover, his amendment would authorize U.S. military actions to “rescue” citizens of allied countries from the grips of the ICC, even if those countries had ratified the treaty. It may be better to remain silent (as the bill does in this case) rather than lend this degree of legitimacy to the ICC.

2001 Ron Paul 33:3
It is certainly my view (and that of the 21 cosponsors of my bill, HCR 23), that the President should immediately declare to all nations that the United States does not intend to assent to or ratify the International Criminal Court Treaty, also referred to as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the signature of former President Clinton to that treaty should not be construed otherwise.

2001 Ron Paul 33:4
The problems with the ICC treaty and the ICC are numerous. The International Criminal Court Treaty would establish the International Criminal Court as an international authority with power to threaten the ability of the United States to engage in military action to provide for its national defense.

2001 Ron Paul 33:5
The term “crimes of aggression”, as used in the treaty, is not specifically defined and therefore would, by design and effect, violate the vagueness doctrine and require the United States to receive prior United Nations Security Council approval and International Criminal Court confirmation before engaging in military action — thereby putting United States military officers in jeopardy of an International Criminal Court prosecution. The International Criminal Court Treaty creates the possibility that United States civilians, as well as United States military personnel, could be brought before a court that bypasses the due process requirements of the United States Constitution.

2001 Ron Paul 33:6
The people of the United States are selfgoverning, and they have a constitutional right to be tried in accordance with the laws that their elected representatives enact and to be judged by their peers and no others. The treaty would subject United States individuals who appear before the International Criminal Court to trial and punishment without the rights and protections that the United States Constitution guarantees, including trial by a jury of one’s peers, protection from double jeopardy, the right to know the evidence brought against one, the right to confront one’s accusers, and the right to a speedy trial.

2001 Ron Paul 33:7
Today’s amendment, rather than be silent as is currently the case with the bill, supposes that ratification would subject U.S. citizens to the ICC but the Supreme Court stated in Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416, 433 (1920), Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957), and DeGeofrey v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258, 267 (1890) that the United States Government may not enter into a treaty that contravenes prohibitory words in the United States Constitution because the treaty power does not authorize what the Constitution forbids. Approval of the International Criminal Court Treaty is in fundamental conflict with the constitutional oaths of the President and Senators, because the United States Constitution clearly provides that “[a]ll legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress of the United States,” and vested powers cannot be transferred.

2001 Ron Paul 33:8
Additionally, each of the 4 types of offenses over which the International Criminal Court may obtain jurisdiction is within the legislative and judicial authority of the United States and the International Criminal Court Treaty creates a supranational court that would exercise the judicial power constitutionally reserved only to the United States and thus is in direct violation of the United States Constitution. In fact, criminal law is reserved to the states by way of the tenth amendment and, as such, is not even within the federal government’s authority to “treaty away.”

2001 Ron Paul 33:9
Mr. Chairman, the International Criminal Court undermines United States sovereignty and security, conflicts with the United States Constitution, contradicts customs of international law, and violates the inalienable rights of self-government, individual liberty, and popular sovereignty. Therefore, the President should declare to all nations that the United States does not intend to assent to or ratify the treaty and the signature of former President Clinton to the treaty should not be construed otherwise.

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