Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reid to Bring Up Disabilities Convention; Santorum Opposes It

Yesterday (Monday), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would ask the Senate to take up ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities today.  But a number of Republicans, led by current Senator Mike Lee and former Senator Rick Santorum, are opposing the action.  Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has a great piece on the opposition, focusing on Santorum.  Here's the key passage:
Courageous? Or just contentious? The treaty requires virtually nothing of the United States. It essentially directs the other signatories to update their laws so that they more closely match the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even Lee thought it necessary to preface his opposition with the qualifier that “our concerns with this convention have nothing to do with any lack of concern for the rights of persons with disabilities.” 
Their concerns, rather, came from the dark world of U.N. conspiracy theories. The opponents argue that the treaty, like most everything the United Nations does, undermines American sovereignty — in this case via a plot to keep Americans from home-schooling their children and making other decisions about their well-being. 
The treaty does no such thing; if it had such sinister aims, it surely wouldn’t have the support of disabilities and veterans groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Republican senators such as John McCain (Ariz.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.), and conservative legal minds such as Boyden Gray and Dick Thornburgh.



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