Larry Klayman
GOP in Congress abandon Constitution for Iran 'treaty'
By Larry Klayman
August 3, 2015

Could anything be as bad for America as President Barack Hussein Obama's treaty with the Islamic Republic of Iran announced July 13, 2015? Well, Congress shredding the Constitution by passing the "Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act" (or Corker Bill) is the worst! Obama signed INARA into law on May 22, 2015. The contempt of official establishment Washington for our Constitution should be a major scandal. The outrages are coming fast and furious.

Events suggest that Republicans wanted Obama's Iran deal to go through, probably to make it a campaign issue in 2016. Rather than doing what is right to protect the nation, Republican politicos also wanted to raise money in their election campaigns. Sen. Marco Rubio is raising money already, using his so-called efforts to kill the Iran deal as a "selling point." Some commentators report that U.S. businesses are already over in Iran jockeying to win contracts out of the $150 billion the deal releases for Iran to spend. Our elected officials were willing to risk our safety and security – and even more our children's future – for their own short-term benefit.

The Constitution says that "He [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; ..." Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2, U.S. Constitution. Scouring through the Constitution, one does not find any other power for the president to enter into agreements binding on the USA.

The Constitution links the existence of the president's power to depend upon the Senate's "advice and consent" by a two-thirds vote to ratify. Without such ratification, the president is powerless. With no two-thirds vote, no power. With no power, no treaty. Secretary John Kerry's "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA) is an expensive souvenir for Kerry's junkets to Europe, but it is not a valid international agreement. Clearly, if the Senate were permitted to vote on ratification, the two-thirds required vote would not be reached, and the treaty with Iran would be killed.

Yet our Republican-led Congress voted to change the Constitution, without of course an actual, formal amendment. The U.S. Senate voted 98-1 in March and the U.S. House of Representatives voted in May 400-0 to create a new and different system for ratifying international agreements. Republican so-called "leaders" are simultaneously thumping their chests for political purposes with their opposition to Obama's Iran treaty even while they passed the INARA law that makes it virtually certain. (Congress will likely vote to disapprove, knowing that Obama will veto their joint resolution. And the veto will likely stand, as there are not enough votes in the Congress to override it.)

Someone had to do something. So I filed a lawsuit asking to have the INARA law declared unconstitutional in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. See As a Florida resident, I actually voted for both Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. Although I entrusted my constitutional and civil rights to them, Rubio and Nelson, along with Rep. Patrick Murphy, forfeited my constitutional and civil rights created to protect me and other citizens against tyranny, political corruption and actual danger. The Constitution was created in part "to provide for the common defense." My senators and representative violated their fiduciary duty and their delegated duty to protect my civil rights, constitutional rights and safety and security.

The INARA law changes 1) the process by which treaties are ratified, 2) who ratifies, from the U.S. Senate to both houses of Congress acting in unison, 3) the process of ratification so that a treaty automatically becomes ratified if both houses don't vote to disapprove, so that inaction is treated as ratification, 4) the vote total required from two-thirds of the U.S. Senate to a majority of both houses required to disapprove, 5) gives the president a veto, and 6) the vote needed to approve from two-thirds of U.S. senators to a two-thirds vote of both houses to overturn a veto of an original vote of disapproval.

Now, it is true that our Congress worried that Obama would not submit his JCPOA to Congress for any consideration at all. He would just say it isn't a treaty. So Republicans sold their birthright and my and your constitutional rights for a slimy "pot of stew." If official Washington studied the Constitution, they might have passed a law defining the word "treaty" pursuant to the "necessary and proper" clause. A law defining Obama's agreement as a treaty requiring ratification would have addressed their supposed concerns. Or they could have claimed after the fact that a non-treaty agreement has no effect and challenge it as meaningless.

Is Obama's JCPOA with Iran a treaty? It is widely believed that the president can enter into non-treaty agreements. But nothing in the Constitution says that. If an agreement is binding upon the United States, then it has to be ratified as a treaty.

Testimony in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 30, 2015, by legal expert Juan Zarate and others clarified that the JCPOA purports to actually restrict, restrain and limit the exercise of national powers with regard to Iran. Because it purports to be binding on our country, it is a treaty requiring ratification to have effect. (See video at C-SPAN's website.)

As bad as the issues are, the fact that our public officials care so little for the procedures and substance of our Constitution is alarming. Obama's JCPOA "treaty" with Iran will wreak "catastrophic havoc" across the Middle East, even according to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States for nearly 25 years, in an Arabic-language op-ed, as the Washington Post reported. But congressional Republicans' disregard for our Constitution will in the end be seen for what it is: a traitorous and unconstitutional sellout of my rights and those of all Americans for their cynical political ends. The end result could be a Second Holocaust affecting not just the Middle East, but also the entire world, this one at the hands of Obama's radical Muslim brothers in Tehran, who are now poised to use nuclear weapons for blackmail and to grow by force a worldwide Islamic caliphate.

© Larry Klayman


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Larry Klayman

Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties... (more)


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