Thursday, June 19, 2014

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June 19, 2014

CRPD Back with a Vengeance

Justina Pelletier has finally been sent home! The insanity – and her nightmare – are finally over. We rejoice with this family, and thank you for standing with us in supporting them through your thoughts, prayers, and comments on social media.

Yet before the ink could dry on Judge Joe Johnston’s order, it seems insanity has broken out elsewhere instead.

The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is back on the table in the U.S. Senate, defying all logic and reason. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has vowed to vote on it before the committee this summer, and to follow that with a vote in the full Senate.

Menendez’s announcement came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s recent Bond decision, despite the fact that the ruling only served to highlight the danger of ratifying treaties that seek to dictate American domestic policy. Menendez, who perhaps had not read the ruling when he issued his statement, blithely claimed the opposite.

This only serves to demonstrate that treaty proponents will use any excuse – even a false one – to push this treaty down America’s throat.

Like the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the CRPD includes an obligation for the federal government to ensure that all decisions for children with disabilities be made in the best interests of the child – a legal standard reserved in our country for situations where a marriage is dissolved or where there has been a finding of abuse or neglect. In short, the CRPD will allow courts to treat all parents of children with disabilities as though they were abusive parents.

What is more, the momentum seems to be on their side.

In recent months, countless media outlets and blogs have spouted the same unreferenced misinformation, claiming that the CRPD will not impact U.S. domestic law, and that it will require other nations to adopt the high standards of our Americans with Disabilities Act. This completely ignores a basic truth of international law: a treaty is legally binding on the nation(s) that ratify it. If we ratify the CRPD, under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution it becomes part of “the Supreme Law of the Land.” Our ratification would bind us, and not anyone else.

Treaty proponents have not unearthed any new facts. They have not discovered any new angles. The Bond case went against them, actually highlighting the dangers against which we have been warning – but treaty proponents have ignored it. Essentially, they are battling truth by shouting it down.

Sadly, their offensive is working.

To stop them we must respond with many loud voices of our own. We must contact our senators and urge them to oppose ratification of this dangerous treaty.

We anticipate that the CRPD will be taken up for a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July. Then, it could come to the Senate floor in September (following the August recess), or in the “lame duck session” that starts in November. But if we wait until then to make our voices heard it will be too late.

Action Items

1. Please take a moment today to write or email both of your senators and urge them to oppose ratification of the CRPD. You can find their contact information by clicking on your state at, then clicking through to your senators’ websites.

(You can also get directly to your state’s page at, where “xx” is your state’s two-letter abbreviation. Live in New Mexico? It’s

You might choose to use one or two of the following talking points when you write:

  • We do not want to set the dangerous precedent of letting the U.N. write our domestic policy.
  • The CRPD would remove parental rights and let government bureaucrats decide what is in the best interest of children with disabilities.
  • Our ratification of the treaty will have no impact on disability law in other nations. It will only open the door for America’s critics to complain about our laws.
  • Having already passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is held as “the gold standard” in disability law, we do not need to subject ourselves to review by a committee made up entirely of foreigners whose nations have not yet attained to that high standard.
  • This treaty threatens American sovereignty, traditional parental rights, and state jurisdiction over family law.
Please do not call yet. We want to save that powerful punch for when the issue is on the schedule and the push is at its height.

2. Once you have written or emailed, please pass this on to your family and friends who might share your concern for parental rights and American self-government.

Thank you for standing with us to sound the alarm. Together we can defeat this dangerous treaty once again.


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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