In a Halloween post available here (scroll down to the nicely named "Trick or Treaty?"), our Opinio Juris colleague Duncan Hollis predicted smooth sailing in the U.S. Senate for the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, about which we too have posted. 'Fraid he might be mistaken.
True, the Foreign Relations Committee has voted "aye" by a 17-4 margin -- more progress than the 1982 Convention, which entered into force in 1994 and now has 155 states parties, ever has made in the United States. (History of U.S. involvement in negotiating the treaty and thereafter here.)
Yet as noted in a comment by our colleague Andreas L. Paulus, University of Göttingen, Germany, at least 1 Republican foresees failure in the full Senate. "This treaty will not be adopted. There aren't the votes to pass it," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) told the Associated Press. Echoing him in the same story was Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who's declared: "I am absolutely convinced it undermines U.S. sovereignty."
Lott's not alone in sounding the sovereignty alarm.
Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's called U.S. involvement in the treaty "'the dumbest thing we've ever done,'" and staked out treaty defeat as "'[o]ne of the defining issues of our time,'" Gail Collins reports in the New York Times. A quick Google search suggests that Huckabee has a corner of the virtual world on his side. What's more, Collins writes, many of Huckabee's rivals for the Republican nomination are falling in line with him, notwithstanding that the treaty's supported by the United States' Defense Department, the State Department, and incumbent President.
Might be time to run up that stormy weather flag.