July 17, 2014

Senate Committee to Vote on UN Disabilities Treaty

Calls Needed Before Tuesday Decision

Michael Farris
HSLDA Founder and Chairman

Michael Farris, HSLDA Founder and Chairman and homeschooling father of 10

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the dangerous United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on Tuesday, July 22.

Now is the time to let the Senate hear loud and clear that Americans are firmly opposed to surrendering our sovereignty, parental rights, and the rights of people with disabilities to unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats. Please call and email your two U.S. senators right now and urge them to reject the UNCRPD. We need every single homeschool parent and concerned citizen to make their voice heard. Bad bills can be repealed. But once a treaty is ratified there is no going back.

Please Call Now!

You can reach your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or by using our Legislative Toolbox to type your address and find their contact info. You can also use HSLDA’s emailing tool to send a prewritten letter to your senators by filling out your information and then clicking the red “Take Action” button. You are also able to edit the prewritten letter to put it into your own words.

Your message can be as simple as the following:

“I urge you to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats and will threaten parental care of children with disabilities. Our nation already has laws to protect Americans with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will hurt families by giving bureaucrats, instead of parents, the power to decide what is in the best interests of a child with disabilities.”

We do not have the votes to stop the UNCRPD in the Foreign Relations Committee. That is why we urge you to call not only the senators on the committee, but also your own two senators. Please call whether your senator supports or opposes the treaty. Every senator needs to hear from us. The following senators are on the Foreign Relations Committee:

Robert Menendez (NJ) (202) 224-4744
Barbara Boxer (CA) (202) 224-3553
Benjamin L. Cardin (MD) (202) 224-4524
Tom Udall (NM) (202) 224-6621
Edward Markey (MA) (202) 224-2742
Chris Murphy (CT) (202) 224-4041
Tim Kaine (VA) (202) 224-4024
Jeanne Shaheen (NH) (202) 224-2841
Christopher Coons (DE) (202) 224-5042
Richard J. Durbin (IL) (202) 224-2152

Bob Corker (TN) (202) 224-3344
Ron Johnson (WI) (202) 224-5323
James E. Risch (ID) (202) 224-2752
Jeff Flake (AZ) (202) 224-4521
John McCain (AZ) (202) 224-2235
John Barrasso (WY) (202) 224-6441
Rand Paul (KY) (202) 224-4343
Marco Rubio (FL) (202) 224-3041


HSLDA opposes the UNCRPD because if it is ratified by the Senate, government officials can use the following section to override parents’ decisions for their child with a disability: “In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

Other provisions of the UNCRPD threaten U.S. sovereignty and our fundamental right to govern ourselves. The treaty also promotes abortions and requires a national registry of all children with disabilities (the term “disability” isn’t even defined). Our nation already has the best laws in the world to protect Americans with disabilities, and we use our leadership and foreign aid overseas to urge nations to protect their own citizens with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will weaken U.S. leadership by replacing our nation’s proven record on disability rights with UN “leadership.”

Some Senate staff may argue that the UNCRPD isn’t dangerous because it can be amended with reservations, understandings, and declarations (“RUDs”). No one has seen the proposed RUDs yet, so we don’t even know if they are well-written. But more importantly, RUDs are fatally flawed. The UNCRPD itself says in Article 46 “Reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be permitted.” Who decides whether RUDs are compatible? The UN? Some international law experts have even argued that any RUDs that alter a treaty are invalid. If the UNCRPD is ratified, we could see a case make its way before the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether RUDs are even valid. We cannot trust our freedom to five justices on the Supreme Court making the right ruling. In addition, a future Senate could withdraw RUDs.

Some Senate staff may also argue that the recent Supreme Court ruling in Bond v. United States addresses our concerns. We answered this argument here. Bond was an incredibly narrow ruling, and it never addressed the treaty power issue. In fact, the concurring opinions by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito prove that our concerns about UN treaties are completely justified.

The good news is your action defeated the UNCRPD in 2012. By the grace of God, we can do it again. Please call right now and please also forward this email to your friends. You can visit HSLDA’s action page to learn more about the CRPD, and you can read the text of the CRPD here.

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