How Censorship Could Become Binding

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [Dead links removed, emphasis added.]

Article 20

1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Article 51

1. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall thereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.

2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. 3. When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.

Reservation:

(1) That Article 20 does not authorize or require legislation or other action by the United States that would restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Understanding:

(1) That the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee all persons equal protection of the law and provide extensive protections against discrimination. The United States understands distinctions based upon race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or any other status – as those terms are used in Article 2, paragraph 1 and Article 26 – to be permitted when such distinctions are, at minimum, rationally related to a legitimate governmental objective. The United States further understands the prohibition in paragraph 1 of Article 4 upon discrimination, in time of public emergency, based “solely” on the status of race, color, sex, language, religion or social origin not to bar distinctions that may have a disproportionate effect upon persons of a particular status.

Problematic definitions:

  • advocacy of
  • religious hatred
    • constitutes incitement

    In a , I showed how Masooud Khan & Ban Ki-moon define those terms as exemplified by their condemnation of Fitna.
    I have no doubt that anticipation of such egregious abuse of semantics was behind reservation number one cited above. Were it not for the election of an appeaser to the Presidency along with a like minded Senate majority, our liberty might be secure.

    What will happen if Article 20 is amended to conform to the recent & pending resolutions combating defamation of religions & Durban II draft? I expect that President Obama will sign it, the Senate will ratify it, and the Supreme Court will lack the will & resolve necessary to rule it unconstitutional. It would then be possible to persecute American critics of Islam in foreign and international courts, contravening the first amendment.

    Seekers of detailed legal analysis of the issue should refer to Why the U.S. Should Oppose “Defamation of Religions” Resolutions at the United Nations, a Heritage Foundation report and the bibliography in its footnotes.

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