Jeremy Luedi is the editor of True North Far East, a blog chronicling Sino-Canadian relations.

His writing has been featured in Business Insider, Courrier International, FACTA Magazine, The Japan Times, The Diplomat and Asia Times, among others.


American Constitutionalism and International Human Rights: A Legal Perspective

In the first decade of the 21st century, the issue of human rights has become engrained in the popular conscience of the world, and infused in the lexicon of politicians, journalists and activists. Following the events in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and Sudan, the issue of human rights have become collective concerns. In the spirit of protecting the rights and privileges of humanity as well seeking to redress and punish violations of human dignity, an international body of law grounded on treaties has emerged.

During the last few decades, the world has witnessed an ever increasing number of international human rights conventions and multilateral institutions. Nations of the world have ratified these treaties in order to demonstrate their commitment to both local reform as well as the creation of new international norms and codes of conduct. One nation – the United States of America – remains an outlier. Despite its rhetoric of defending liberty, equality and freedom, the U.S. has failed to ratify or sign many of the most important international human rights treaties.

Such actions have left many nations angry and confused, for the refusal of the global hegemon to partake in global initiatives undermines collective efforts and encourages other states to disregard emerging human rights norms. This paper argues that the actions of the U.S. are not random nor contemptuous of the global community, rather American objections and abstentions from treaties are due to role of domestic U.S. legal tradition and the role of the Constitution. This essay shall highlight the role of the Constitution in shaping American responses to international human rights treaties and issues; as well as the evidence, both domestic and treaty-based for greater American human rights reform and progress.

Human rights, due in part to their appeal to sense of common morality, exist in an atmosphere of international customs and other normative standards. Specifically, human rights form part of customary international law; a set of behavioral and procedural norms followed by most states out of a sense of decorum.1 Executing customary international law occurs via voluntary compliance rather than written legislation.2 This emphasis in turn has traditionally made human rights difficult to enforce, for most human rights treaties are articulated in non-self-executing terms, often rendering them impotent against non-compliance.3

Non-self-executing treaties, unlike self-executing covenants, do not immediately become law upon ratification, rather they require the implementation of legislation by signatory countries.4 The onus in turn falls on signatory states to carry out and abide by the articles of various human rights treaties. The non-self-executing nature of treaties in turn allows for a considerable degree of latitude with regards to policy implementation. Consequently, countries such as the United States are often able to tailor their reactions to treaty requirements.

International customary law is defined by the collective actions of states, and as such the development of new customary law can be circumvented by the persistent objector doctrine.5 This doctrine allows for states who persistently object to the development of new law to be exempt from said law when it matures. This doctrine is seen as an integral part by traditionalist theorists who stress the importance of interstate consent and sovereignty.6 The United States often employs the objector doctrine as a tool to voice its concerns or reservations regarding specific international treaties. Reservations, understandings and declarations (RUDs) allow states to exempt themselves from certain clauses, to elaborate on their positions, or merely to attach statements to their signatures.7

The United States often uses RUDs to further its own aims, as well as to maintain the legal supremacy of the Constitution (to be discussed later) vis-à-vis reform demands emanating from international treaties. U.S. ratifications of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and conventions on genocide, torture and racial discrimination were all accompanied by RUDs.8 It is important to note that the U.S. is not alone in its use of RUDs, as “France opted out of NATO, yet kept a foothold, Britain attaches many reservations to human rights treaties,”9 and Saudi Arabia attached RUDs upon signing the Covenant on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).10

Despite the widespread use of RUDs, particular focus is directed at the United States, primarily due to its role as global hegemon - the gravitas it wields in setting international human rights trends - and the discrepancy between its human rights rhetoric and actions.11 America often espouses that it leads in “defending liberty and justice [and] will always stand firm for the non-negotiable12 demands of human dignity.”13 Despite such statements “observers expecting a dominant role for human rights in U.S. foreign policy will always be disappointed.”14 The United States has long followed a mantra of pursuing its own goals, both unilaterally and in international frameworks, with particular emphasis on American sovereignty and the supremacy of the Constitution.15 Characterized as 'American exceptionalism,' U.S. treaty behavior is defined by exemptions; whether by reservation, non-ratification or non-compliance. America:

“[denys] jurisdiction to human rights law within its own domestic law,”16 [and operates in] “the cathedral of human rights...more like a flying buttress than a pillar – choosing to stand outside the international structure, supporting the international human rights system but without being willing to subject its own conduct to the scrutiny of the system.”17

In order to understand American decision-making, one must delve into the role of the American Constitution, and domestic legal considerations.

U.S. treaty behavior often perplexes other state actors, yet American decisions are not merely the whims and fancies of an arrogant hegemon, rather they are grounded in the American rights tradition. International criticisms of American human rights policies are wide-ranging, criticizing American inaction and perceived recalcitrant lobbying; causing “the international credibility of the United States [to be] shaken and its reliability as a treaty-negotiating partner with foreign countries [put] in doubt.”18 Indeed the U.S. was voted off the UN Human Rights Commission in 2001, only returning after closed door discussions.19

Constitutional supremacy and American exceptionalism have been the driving force behind the slew of U.S. refusals to ratify human rights treaties since WWII.20 Despite having played a leading role in the creation of the U.N. and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),21 there exists a strong tradition of constitutional literalism and preference for domestic law in the American legislature and judiciary. The early 1950s saw the emergence of Brickerism, named after Senator John Bricker, who sought a constitutional amendment to make all treaties entered into by the U.S. to be non-self-executing.22 Bricker sought to “bury the so called Convention on Human Rights so deep that no one holding high public office will ever dare to attempt its resurrection.”23 Bricker's bill was defeated by a single vote, yet his sentiments, specifically his uncompromising defense of the Constitution continued to influence American policy.

American skepticism towards international treaties is not new, with Federalist Paper No. 15 stating:“little dependence is to be placed on treaties which have no other sanction than the obligations of good faith...[and are] subject to observance and non-observance as the interests or passions of the contracting Powers dictate [sic].”24 Echoing Bricker's motion, the Supreme Court in 2008 ruled that all ratified treaties were to be treated as non-self-executing, unless explicitly stated.25 Bricker's hostility towards international human rights treaties, was also echoed by Ronald Reagan who described CEDAW as “leading to sex and sexual differences [being] treated as casually and amorally as dogs and other beasts treat them.”26

Despite being signed by Jimmy Carter, CEDAW only underwent ratification in 1994 by Bill Clinton, and only then after several RUDs were attached.27 U.S. RUDs were based upon constitutional limitations and divisions of power. CEDAW's clause guaranteeing women's right to privacy (concerning access to contraception and abortion), was seen as being trumped by the First Amendment28 of religious freedom.29 The U.S. also categorized many women's issues such as family planning, childcare, marriage and domestic violence as private sphere concerns, and consequently beyond the jurisdiction of the government.30

Other U.S. reservations exempted America from enacting statutes requiring comparable worth (equal pay) and paid maternity leave legislation. CEDAW required evidence of either an impact or purpose when determining rights claims, whereas the U.S. Constitution required both an impact and purpose to deal with equal rights violations.31 American RUDs concerning CEDAW were seen as contravening the Vienna Convention on the Laws of Treaties (VCLT). The VCLT states that reservations which object and run counter to the spirit of the treaty are not permitted. Consequently the U.S. along with Iran, Somalia and Sudan remains one of the few nations not to have ratified CEDAW.

U.S. reservations have also stalled ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), with American lawmakers and officials citing conflict between treaty clauses and constitutional text.32 This is due to the fact that “the validity of treaty guarantees that go beyond constitutional guarantees are questionable and treaties that would require the U.S. to change laws are problematic.”33 CRC clauses guaranteeing child rights were not accepted in the U.S. for the Constitution does not recognize children specifically, nor does it recognize that children or adults have such affirmative rights.34 In terms of “federal and state constitutional rights, the U.S. is famous for its negative rights tradition”35– namely prohibitions against undue state influence.

The U.S. Constitution, in this regard, is rather archaic when compared to the post-war European constitutions.36 Consequently, state powers to protect children's rights are constrained by constitutional rights of parents to be free from government intervention.37 The CRC also restricts interracial and international adoption policies, advocating sociocultural and ethnic continuity to be in the best interests of children. The U.S. opposed this clause, for it would require the re-institution of racial-matching policies. Such policies had previously limited adoption and foster care opportunities for African-American children. The 1994 Multiethnic Placement Act outlawed the use of race and culture in circumscribing adoption opportunities.38 Adoption of the foreign CRC would in turn require overturning domestic legislation, emanating from local democratic institutions.

U.S. opposition to supplanting domestic with internationally crafted legislation is grounded in the notion of internationalism as “a battering ram against free and democratic societies and traditional values.”39 Such sentiments inform American decisions which at times perplex the international community, such as its refusal to sign the 1997 Land Mine Treaty, a class of munitions which especially endanger children. Similarly U.S. efforts towards rectifying the issue of child soldiers has been slow, due to America's own policy of actively recruiting seventeen year-olds.40

Congress enjoys wide discretion when entering into and imposing guidelines for treaty compliance, with the Constitution not assigning any role to the courts in dealing with treaty processes. Consequently treaty obligations are viewed through legislative terms, with Congress's seeing its power being infringed upon by international laws.41 The role of Congress in turn allows for “ordinary federal statutes to supersede the most solemn treaty commitments if the statute is enacted after treaty ratification.”42

The ability of domestic legislation to override treaty terms can have huge importance. In 1998, the Supreme Court allowed the execution of a Paraguayan national charged with murder. The convicted appealed the decision in Breard vs. Greene, stating that he was not informed of his right to contact his consulate. Breard claimed that this in turn violated his political rights and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR).43 This objection was overruled by the Supreme Court, which cited the Anti-Terrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act; domestic law which superseded and nullified U.S. treaty obligations under the VCCR.44 Similarly in 2008, Mexico launched a class action suite (Medellin vs. Texas) against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on behalf of Mexican nationals with death sentences in U.S. custody.

Mexico claimed that many prisoners had not been made aware of their rights under the VCCR.45 ICJ calls for U.S. courts to abide by the VCCR, were echoed by a presidential memorandum by President George W. Bush, who urged the courts to comply with ICJ demands. Medellin vs. Texas saw the Supreme Court reaffirm the supremacy of domestic law, with “neither the [ICJ ruling] nor the president's memorandum constituting directly enforceable federal law.”46 The separation of powers in the U.S. results in restricting legal claims from international and executive sources, for “the president has a sworn duty not to 'law' in the abstract, much less to universal principles, but to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”47

The almost dogmatic authority enjoyed by the U.S. Constitution is one of, if not the main factor determining American treaty and legal behavior. The significant power and influence of the Constitution in U.S. human rights discourse is not completely unrestricted, nor is it totally separated from international norms. International law does recognize certain human rights and corresponding violations as being exempt from the persistent objector doctrine.48 These unassailable dignities are known as peremptory norms; or jus cogens.49 While only a handful of human rights norms currently qualify as jus cogens, state sovereignty is strictly limited in applicable cases. States which contravene jus cogens violate some of the most entrenched and 'hard' legal norms.

Consequently, the Supreme Court has recognized the U.S. is bound by these norms, thus allowing for some international opinion to dictate U.S. human rights policies.50 American human rights policies have routinely come under international criticism, at times resulting in revisions in U.S. practices.

America's frequent use of the death penalty is seen by many in the international community as highly objectionable, specifically considering America's position as a major liberal democracy.51 International indignation was voiced in 2002 when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, ruled against U.S. death penalty policies. In Domingus vs. U.S. the Commission ruled that the use of the juvenile death penalty violated customary international law, for the prohibition against juvenile executions had achieved jus cogens status.52

The U.S. is also relegated to outlier status as the only country with a policy of juvenile life sentences without parole; a policy in direct contravention of Article 37 of the CRC.53 International criticism and the importance of jus cogens norms led to the 2005 Roper vs. Simmons case, in which the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to execute someone who was a juvenile at the time of their crime.54 Roper vs. Simmons saw the Supreme Court acknowledge the role of the CRC,55 and:

“although [the Supreme Court's] decision in Roper vs. Simmons was based on U.S. domestic law – the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment – the Court recognized the degree to which it had been out of step with the rest of the world. The Court wrote 'Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, which every country in the world has ratified, save for the U.S. and Somalia contains an express prohibition on capital punishment for crimes committed by juveniles under 18.'”56

Similar revisionist sentiments arose in 2003, when the Supreme Court in Lawrence vs. Texas, overturned the 1986 Bauers vs. Hardwick ruling which allowed states to implement laws criminalizing homosexuality. The 2003 decision declared anti-homosexuality law to be unconstitutional. The Court (rather belatedly) acknowledged the precedent set by the European Court of Human Rights, which had decriminalized homosexuality in its 1981 Dudgeon vs. United Kingdom ruling.57

Efforts to bring U.S law into line with international practices via domestic legal reform rather than treaty obligations is a key characteristic of American human rights policy. It is important to note that while the U.S. often lags behind European and other nations in terms of human right legislation and treaty ratification; American human rights engagement should not be seen as purely reactionary. As previously mentioned the U.S. played a key role in establishing UDHR in 1948. Moreover, it supported the creation of the UN Human Rights Commission in 1993, and while it voted against the UN Rights Council in 2006, it did so to express its wish for a stronger mandate.58

To characterize American attitudes as purely unilateral is false, rather the U.S. engages in “multilateralism a la carte.”59 The U.S. participates in human rights dialogue, and while often not signing treaties, does offer its own legal experience to the discussion. In 2003 the U.S. stated that it did not support the concept of an international instrument to maintain equal rights for disabled persons, preferring to rely on the Americans with Disabilities Act.60 From 2003 to 2006 the U.S. increasingly engaged with other nations concerning various articles and issues in international law concerning the rights of the disabled. Specifically America provided an experts panel and written documentation on its own disabilities legislation in order to help nations without such laws to better formulate their own domestic laws.

The Americans with Disabilities Act helped inform the Convention on the Rights of Person's with Disabilities, for U.S. legal practice in this area was at the forefront of global disabilities rights development.61 The Disabilities Convention demonstrates the active role which the U.S. can pursue in helping shape international treaties, without compromising domestic judicial sovereignty, thereby “advancing U.S. policy interests including advancing democracy and promoting U.S. values on social issues.”62

Such recent engagement on the part of the U.S. is welcomed by the international community, yet America continues to be perceived as flouting international treaty proceedings and multilateral efforts. American insistence on constitutional supremacy has often hampered the ratification processes of human rights treaties. Despite such trends, there exists substantial judicial and constitutional material which favors international rights cooperation. The tools of unilateral constitutional literalists can also be used to advocate stronger international law engagement. The American Founding Fathers were not wholly isolationist; they recognized that the nascent America existed in a multi-polar world.

Proponents of greater American involvement in international human rights dialogue can counter the obstructionist methods of die-hard constitutionalists by citing the very document to which they so dearly cling. Advocates for a more cosmopolitan and treaty-based policy outlook echo President Clinton's 1998 executive order stating that the U.S. government “fulfill, respect and implement its obligations under international human rights treaties to which it is a party.”63

As seen in the case of Medellin vs. Texas, executive orders of the President have little impact on judicial rulings, yet there exists judicial and constitutional support for Clinton's sentiments. International law has consistently been upheld by U.S. laws,64 as demonstrated by the long standing 1801 Charming Betsy rule stating that “the laws of the United States ought not to be construed as to infract the common principles and usages of nations, or the general doctrines of national law [sic].”65 Such notions were extrapolated by Justice Marshall, who in 1809 argued that “treaties should be viewed as self-executing whenever a right grows out of or it protected by a treaty.”66 Article 1 S.8.c10 of the U.S. Constitution imbues Congress with the power to punish “offenses against the law of nations.”67 The importance of said 'laws of nations' is further demonstrated by the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA).

Enacted in 1789, the Act allowed non-Americans to sue foreign leaders in U.S. courts for violations of customary international law. The ATCA provides recourse in the case of violations of international norms that are accepted by enough states to be “specific, universal and obligatory.”68 ACTA's emphasis on universal international norms, as well as providing a forum for redressing violations of international law, precedes the strikingly similar mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC) - a key institution in prosecuting human rights violators - by more than 150 years.

Many American critics of the ICC argue that its mandate infringes on state sovereignty, and the Constitution. Specifically, critics argue that the ICC would unlawfully adjudicate over U.S. citizens in America, from abroad. Ironically, while the U.S. has refused to ratify the ICC; due to the reservations mentions above, the exact same criticisms exist concerning ATCA, for the U.S. exercises the ability to unilaterally judge foreign nationals and leaders who “despite state recognition of international norms, they have not necessarily consented to allowing U.S. federal courts to adjudicate claims involving those norms.”69

Of even greater significance for American implementation of modern human rights treaties is Article 6 – the Supremacy Clause – which states that “all treaties made or which shall be made under Authority of the United States shall be supreme law of the land [sic].”70 Article 6 allows congressional legislation enacting treaty obligations to supersede other constitutional concerns; undermining many of arguments of human rights treaties opponents touting concerns over constitutional integrity.71 This notion was further extrapolated upon in the 1887 case of U.S. vs. Arjona, in which it was ruled that the law of nations “may compel Congress to take necessary steps to conform U.S. domestic law to international norms.”72 Of particular importance was the Supreme Court's statement which did not require Congress to cite international law (ratified treaties) as an explicit justification to change domestic law, rather the existence of a recognized international obligation alone sufficed.

Such statements in the both the Constitution and U.S. judicial precedent played a key role in the outcome of Roper vs. Simmons, with the Supreme Court referencing Article 3, which mandates that the conduct of individual states “relative to laws of nations and performance of Treaties, conform to these [treaty] laws [sic].”73 The importance of the Supreme Court's ruling in Roper vs. Simmons was that it cited Article 3's insistence on complying with treaty laws, yet the laws in question – those of the CRC, specifically Article 37 – had not been ratified by the U.S. In other words the Supreme Court brought about legal changes, not due to legally binding and accepted treaty clauses, but rather merely due to the existence and corresponding moral authority of international human rights norms.

The evolution of human rights dialogue as well as the implementation and enforcement of said rights continues to be a major topic in international politics. The establishment of an international body of treaties, laws and norms has slowly come to define what are inherently highly complex and often nebulous concepts. The importance of international agreement, cooperation and enforcement continues to grow, and all nations are faced with adopting and adapting to changing ideas and expectations. The United States is not exempt from the often difficult and legally intricate circumstances which arise due to the growing aegis of human rights.

American human rights policy has long been characterized by a heavy reliance on domestic initiative and constitutional law. Said reliance has often resulted in the U.S. remaining outside many key international treaties, as it struggles with an inherent conflict of interests. Many see American refusal to partake in multilateral undertakings as the characteristic intractability of a global hegemon, while others as a fundamental antagonistic predisposition to multilateralism and international cooperation at large. The supremacy of the Constitution has long been used as a justification for the U.S; however, America has not remained immune to collective expectations and values. Human rights advances, whether reactions from international progress or fueled by internal re-evaluation, beckon.



Bartholet, Elizabeth. “Ratification of the United States of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:Pros and Cons from a Child's Rights Perspective.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 633, no. 1 (2011): 80-101.

Chayes, Antonia. “How American Treaty Behavior Threatens National Security.” InternationalSecurity 33, no.1 (2008): 45-81.

Cohn, Majorie.“Resisting Equality: Why the U.S. Refuses to Ratify the Women's Convention.” Thomas Jefferson Law Review 27, no.1 (2004): 15-26.

Crook, John R.“U.S. Joins Consensus on Disability Treaty, but Not Expected to Sign.” The American Journal of International Law 101, no.2 (2007): 491-492.

Crook, John R.“United States Boycotts Durban Review Conference, Will Seek Election to Human Rights Council.” The American Journal of International Law 103, no.2 (2009): 335-338.

Culpepper, Brenton T. “Missed Opportunity: Congress's Attempted Response to the World's Demandfor the Violence against Women Act.” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 43, no. 3 (2010): 734-761.

Dietrich, John W. “U.S. Human Rights Policy in the Post-Cold War Era.” Political Science Quarterly121, no. 2 (2006): 269-294.

Fletcher, W.A.“International Human Rights and the Role of the United States.” Northwestern University Law Review 104, no.1 (2010): 293-306.

Hufbauer, Gary Clyde & Nicholas K. Mitokostas. Awakening Monster: The Alien Tort Statute of 1789.Washington: Institute for International Economics, 2003.

Ignatieff, Michael. “Introduction.” in American Exceptionalism and Human Rights. ed. Michael

Ignatieff. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Lau, Holning. “Rethinking the Persistent Objector Doctrine in International Human Rights Law.” Chicago Journal of International Law 6, no. 1 (2005): 495-510.

Petree, Nick “Born in the USA: An all-American view on Birthright Citizenship and International Human Rights.” Houston Journal of International Law 34, no.1 (2011): 148-185.

Rabkin, Jeremy. “American Self-Defense Shouldn't be too Distracted by International Law.” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 30, no. 1 (2006): 36-37.

Smith, Rhona K. M. “Human Rights in International Law.” in Human Rights: Politics and Practice, ed. Michael Goodhart. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

United Nations Special Rapporteur. “UN Human Rights Officials Berate U.S. Human Rights Policies and Practices.” The American Journal of International Law 103, no.3 (2009): 594-597.



1Brenton T. Culpepper, “Missed Opportunity: Congress's Attempted Response to the World's Demand for the Violence against Women Act,” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 43, no. 3 (2010): 740.

2 Rhona K. M. Smith, “Human Rights in International Law,” in Human Rights: Politics and Practice, ed. Michael Goodhart (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 27.

3Culpepper, 742.

4Nick Petree, “Born in the USA: An all-American view on Birthright Citizenship and International Human Rights,” Houston Journal of International Law 34, no.1 (2011): 182.

5Holning Lau, “Rethinking the Persistent Objector Doctrine in International Human Rights Law,” Chicago Journal of International Law 6, no. 1 (2005): 496.


7K. M. Smith, 31-32.

8John W. Dietrich, “U.S. Human Rights Policy in the Post-Cold War Era,” Political Science Quarterly 121, no. 2 (2006): 284.

9Antonia Chayes, “How American Treaty Behavior Threatens National Security,” International Security 33, no.1 (2008): 48.

10K. M. Smith, 31.

11John R. Crook, “United States Boycotts Durban Review Conference, Will Seek Election to Human Rights Council,” The American Journal of International Law 103, no.2 (2009): 338.

12Emphasis added.

13Dietrich, 272. - President Bush 2002 State of the Union Address

14Ibid, 269.

15Chayes, 46.

16Michael Ignatieff, “Introduction,” in American Exceptionalism and Human Rights, ed. Michael Ignatieff (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 3.

17Majorie Cohn, “Resisting Equality: Why the U.S. Refuses to Ratify the Women's Convention,” Thomas Jefferson Law Review 27, no.1 (2004): 25.



20W.A. Fletcher, “International Human Rights and the Role of the United States,” Northwestern University Law Review 104, no.1 (2010): 305.

21Dietrich, 271.

22Ibid., 285.


24Jeremy Rabkin, “American Self-Defense Shouldn't be too Distracted by International Law,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 30, no. 1 (2006): 36-37.

25Elizabeth Bartholet, “Ratification of the United States of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Pros and Cons from a Child's Rights Perspective,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 633, no. 1 (2011): 83.

26Cohn, 18.

27Dietrich, 270.

28Crook, “U.S. Boycotts Durban” - the importance of religious sanctity was also behind U.S. refusal to participate in the 2009 review round of the Durban World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, criticizing the conference's specific mention of Israel. America contested that the conference represented an unworkable impasse concerning religious defamation and freedom of speech

29Cohn, 20.

30Bartholet, 85.

31Cohn, 22.

32Ignatieff, 3.

33Dietrich, 284.

34Bartholet, 91.


36Fletcher, 305.

37Bartholet, 86.

38Ibid., 81.

39Cohn, 18. - Cecilia Royals of the National Institute of Womanhood commenting on international support for CEDAW

40 Dietrich, 285.

41Culpepper, 736.

42Rabkin, 35.

43Chayes, 64.



46Ibid., 67.

47Rabkin, 49.

48Lau, 495.

49Culpepper, 736.


51United Nations Special Rapporteur, “UN Human Rights Officials Berate U.S. Human Rights Policies and Practices,” The American Journal of International Law 103, no.3 (2009): 595.

52Lau, 496.

53Bartholet, 83.

54Fletcher, 305.

55Bartholet, 85.

56Fletcher, 305.


58Dietrich, 279.

59Chayes, 46.

60John R. Crook, “U.S. Joins Consensus on Disability Treaty, but Not Expected to Sign,” The American Journal of International Law 101, no.2 (2007): 491.

61Ibid., 492.


63Dietrich, 279.

64Petree, 180.

65Ibid., 169.

66Ibid., 182.

67Culpepper, 739.

68Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Nicholas K. Mitokostas, Awakening Monster: The Alien Tort Statute of 1789 (Washington: Institute for International Economics, 2003), 3. - emphasis added.

69Lau, 506.

70Culpepper, 739.


72Ibid., 741.

73Ibid., 742.

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