The advent of the present administration has brought into full bloom a hardy perennial among the annual crop of proposed constitutional amendments. The emergence of the United States from World War II as the leader of the free nations of the world and distrust of the rapid expansion of executive power under the Roosevelt Administration have given impetus to a movement to check any further expansion of the presidential power to conduct our foreign relations. In addition, many people are alarmed by the possibility that this country might become a party to international agreements which would operate to alter or destroy rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. The result has been the re-introduction in the Senate this year of two proposals to amend the Constitution in order to limit the power of the executive in making treaties and executive agreements. One of these is the Bricker amendment, sponsored by Senator Bricker of Ohio and some sixty-three other Senators. The other is the briefer but more drastic proposal authored by the American Bar Association. Both of these amendments, if adopted, would effect a substantial change in the present power to make treaties and executive agreements and would shift the balance of power in the conduct of foreign relations from the executive to the legislative branch of government. It is proposed in this comment to discuss only the effect of the amendments on agreements other than treaties, but inasmuch as both amendments provide that executive agreements shall be subject to the same limitations as are imposed on treaties, it is necessary before focusing on the executive agreement aspect of the amendments to give some consideration to their effect on the executive's foreign relations power as a whole.
John F. Spindler S.Ed.,
EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS AND THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO THE TREATY POWER,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol51/iss8/6