Justice Department attorneys are advancing an argument at the Supreme Court that could allow the government to invoke international treaties as a legal basis for policies such as gun control that conflict with the U.S. Constitution, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Their argument is that a law implementing an international treaty signed by the U.S. allows the federal government to prosecute a criminal case that would normally be handled by state or local authorities.
That is a dangerous argument, according to Cruz.
“The Constitution created a limited federal government with only specific enumerated powers,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner prior to giving a speech on the issue today at the Heritage Foundation.
“The Supreme Court should not interpret the treaty power in a manner that undermines this bedrock protection of individual liberty,” Cruz said.
In his speech, Cruz said the Justice Department is arguing “an absurd proposition” that “could be used as a backdoor way to undermine” Second Amendment rights, among other things.
The underlying case, Bond v. United States, involves a woman charged with violating the international ban on chemical weapons because she used toxic chemicals to harass a former friend who had an affair with her husband.
h/t Matt Bracken