FDR makes U.S. a collection agency for Stalin

This article is adapted from the treatise on the Constitution: The Kiss of Judice: The Constitution Betrayed–A Coroner’s Inquest. For information, see https://douglassbartley.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/the-kiss-of-judice-the-constitution-betrayed-a-coroners-inquest-volumes-1-and-2-2/

Judge Bartley (Coroner):  The Constitution says: “[The president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur . . . .”

Oxford Companion: May the chief executive by virtue of his inherent foreign affairs power bypass the senatorial concurrence requirement by means of executive agreement?

Coroner: No. The president only has delegated powers—not inherent powers. Inherent powers are a judicially-created device to unlawfully expand his limited powers. And similarly executive agreements are a fabrication to by-pass the constitutional necessity of obtaining treaty approval by ⅔ of the senate.

Oxford Companion:[i] In United States v. Belmont (1937)[ii], affirming the Litvinov Agreement, the Supreme Court responded affirmatively though the Court’s opinion rests in part on the “express” power of the president to recognize foreign nations. In the Litvinov accord President Roosevelt recognized the Soviet Union and accepted in satisfaction of Soviet debts property located in the United States that the Soviet Union had confiscated from Russian citizens.

Presidential policy prevailed without approval of the Senate, and despite the law of the state in which the confiscated property was located. Thus, like a treaty, the Litvinov Agreement became the “supreme law of the land” under Article VI of the Constitution.

Coroner: No! Arrggh! The case is an outrage. Not only does it by-pass the treaty requirements, but it uses the U.S. property of citizens from the Soviet Union to pay off Soviet debts to the United States. The U.S. casted itself in the role of collection agent for Stalin and comrades. More to suggest that FDR himself was a Soviet sympathizer, as were many in his administration.[iii]

From the concurring opinion of Chief Justice Stone, here are more of the details of Litvinov Agreement:

“So far as now relevant, the document signed by the Soviet government, as preparatory to a more general settlement of claims and counterclaims between the two governments, assigns and releases to the United States all amounts ‘due or that may be found to be due it’ from American nationals, and provides that the Soviet government is ‘to be duly notified in each case of any amount realized by the Government of the United States from such release and assignment.’ The relevant portion of the document signed by the President is expressed in the following paragraph:

‘I am glad to have these undertakings by your Government and I shall be pleased to notify your Government in each case of any amount realized by the Government of the United States from the release and assignment to it of the amounts admitted to be due or that may be found to be due.’”[iv]

[iii] From an article @ http://law.onecle.com/constitution/article-2/25-domestic-obligations-of-executive-agreements.html. “Initially, it was the view of most judges and scholars that executive agreements based solely on presidential power did not become the ‘law of the land’ pursuant to the Supremacy Clause because such agreements are not ‘treaties’ ratified by the Senate.9 The Supreme Court, however, found another basis for holding state laws to be preempted by executive agreements, ultimately relying on the Constitution’s vesting of foreign relations power in the national government. A different view seemed to underlie the Supreme Court decision in B. Altman & Co. v. United States,445 in which it was concluded that a jurisdictional statute reference to ‘treaty’ encompassed an executive agreement. The idea flowered in United States v. Belmont,446 where the Court, in an opinion by Justice Sutherland, following on his Curtiss-Wright447 opinion, gave domestic effect to the Litvinov Agreement. At issue was whether a district court of the United States was correct in dismissing an action by the United States, as assignee of the Soviet Union, for certain moneys which had once been the property of a Russian metal corporation the assets of which had been appropriated by the Soviet government. The lower court had erred, the Court ruled. The President’s act in recognizing the Soviet government, and the accompanying agreements, constituted, said the Justice, an international compact which the President, ‘as the sole organ’ of international relations for the United States, was authorized to enter upon without consulting the Senate. Nor did state laws and policies make any difference in such a situation, for while the supremacy of treaties is established by the Constitution in express terms, yet the same rule holds ‘in the case of all international compacts and agreements from the very fact that complete power over international affairs is in the National Government and is not and cannot be subject to any curtailment or interference on the part of the several States.’448

In United States v. Pink,449 decided five years later, the same course of reasoning was reiterated with added emphasis. The question here involved was whether the United States was entitled under the Executive Agreement of 1933 to recover the assets of the New York branch of a Russian insurance company. The company argued that the decrees of confiscation of the Soviet Government did not apply to its property in New York and could not consistently with the Constitution of the United States and that of New York. The Court, speaking by Justice Douglas, brushed these arguments aside. An official declaration of the Russian government itself settled the question of the extraterritorial operation of the Russian decree of nationalization and was binding on American courts. The power to remove such obstacles to full recognition as settlement of claims of our nationals was “a modest implied power of the President who is the ‘sole organ of the Federal Government in the field of international relations’…. It was the judgment of the political department that full recognition of the Soviet Government required the settlement of outstanding problems including the claims of our nationals…. We would usurp the executive function if we held that the decision was not final and conclusive on the courts.’”

Footnotes to article cited at endnoteiii

9 E.g., United States v. One Bag of Paradise Feathers, 256 F. 301, 306 (2d Cir. 1919); 1 W. WILLOUGHBY, supra, at 589. The State Department held the same view. 5 G. Hackworth, digest of international law 426 (1944).

445 224 U.S. 583 (1912).

446 301 U.S. 324 (1937).

447 United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936).

448 299 U.S. at 330-32.

449 315 U.S. 203 (1942)

Published in: on June 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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