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Foreign affairs

David (Dj) C. Wolff

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Reasserting Its Constitutional Role: Congress's Power To Independently Terminate A Treaty, David (Dj) C. Wolff Jan 2012

Reasserting Its Constitutional Role: Congress's Power To Independently Terminate A Treaty, David (Dj) C. Wolff

David (Dj) C. Wolff

Who has the authority to terminate a treaty? The Constitution’s text is silent on the matter and historical precedent has been anything but consistent. Recently, the debate has focused on whether the President can unilaterally terminate a treaty without considering Congressional concerns: witness President Carter’s termination of the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan and President Bush’s 2001 termination of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia. There has been comparatively little analysis of the converse question; does Congress have the unilateral power to terminate a treaty in the face of Presidential opposition? This question invokes strong separation of powers considerations; …