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|Thursday, August 30, 2001, updated at 08:14(GMT+8)|
Bush Has No Right to Withdraw from ABM Treaty, Says US PaperUS President George W. Bush has no right to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty as treaties that United States have signed don't belong to presidents alone, said a signed article in Wednesday's New York Times.
Bush has told the Russians that he will withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which gives both countries the right to terminate on six months' notice.
But Bruce Ackerman, a professor of constitutional law at Yale University, contended in the article that Bush has no constitutional authority to exercise this power without first obtaining US Congressional consent.
Presidents of the United States don't have the power to enter into treaties unilaterally. This requires the consent of two- thirds of the Senate, and once a treaty enters into force, the Constitution makes it part of the "supreme law of the land" -- just like a statute, Ackerman said.
"So, U.S. presidents can't terminate statutes they don't like," Ackerman said, "They must persuade both houses of Congress to join in a repeal."
"If President Bush is allowed to terminate the ABM treaty, what is to stop future presidents from unilaterally taking America out of NATO or the United Nations?" he asked.
"America does not enter into treaties lightly. They are solemn commitments made after wide-ranging democratic debate. Unilateral action by the president does not measure up to this standard," he said.
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