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Bricker Amendment
« on: January 20, 2010, 10:57:55 PM »
BRICKER AMENDMENT. This was a controversial proposal for constitutional amendments made sometime in 1953 by then Senator Bricker of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to include “A provision of a treaty which conflicts with this Constitution shall have no force and effect,” and another proposal which states, “A treaty shall become effective as an internal law in the United States only through legislation which would be valid in the absence of treaty.”

A substitute by Senator George provided, “A provision of a treaty or other international agreement which conflicts with this Constitution shall not be of any force or effect.”

The proposed Bricker amendment and the George substitute were in response to the concerns raised by various sectors as a result of the decision in the case of Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 116, 40 S.Ct., 64 L. Ed. 641 (1929) that any and all constitutional limitations could be overridden via the international agreement route. Both proposals however did not obtain the required two-thirds vote for the amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court in Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957) had occasion to state that, “no agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution.”

The reader should take time to compare the above comments with the incorporation clause of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to the effect that, “The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of internal law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.” (Art. II, Sec. 2)


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