Fox News host Greta Van Susteren went “Off the Record” Wednesday to give the “Constitutional law professor in the White House” a sorely needed refresher course in Constitutional law.
Specifically, she reminded him that the Senate must approve all treaties with foreign countries, so any deal President Obama reaches with Iran with respect to its nuclear program must be ratified by that body.
“Let’s all go ‘Off the Record’ for a minute,” Van Susteren began. “President Obama and I both have this common: We both went to it and taught at law school. He studied the same Constitution I did — ours, the United States. So tonight, a constitutional law refresher for all of us, including, and mostly for, President Obama. Here it is.”
Then she got down to the nitty-gritty.
“Article 2, Section it 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution includes the treaty clause, which empowers the president to propose and negotiate agreements between the United States and other nations which become treaties after — yes, after — the advice and consent of a super majority of the U.S. Senate,” Van Susteren noted. “Now, that means the president has no power to make a deal solely with Iran. Solely alone. He can’t do that.”
After noting that presidential power is not absolute but is rather limited by the Constitution, she played a clip of White House chief spokesman Josh Earnest stating that “we can’t put in place an additional hurdle for that agreement to overcome here at the 11th hour.”
Van Susteren had some choice words on that one.
“Hurdle?” she asked in disbelief. “That clause is not a hurdle. Josh Earnest may think it’s trivial. I don’t. It’s the Constitution. To be respected and adhered to. Any deal with Iran, good, bad or indifferent, impacts the world and impacts generations, so none of that slippery stuff about the president going alone and any deal between the United States and Iran must go to the United States Senate for advice and consent.”
I might add that it’s hardly the 11th hour. The Constitution has been in place since 1789. President Obama knew, or should have known what the treaty process was from the beginning, yet he chooses to ignore it.
“That is what the Constitution says,” Van Susteren concluded. “And if the president doesn’t believe me, he should look it up, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2. That’s my ‘Off the Record’ comment tonight.”
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