... 1994, 12 months after the 60th country had joined it, the U.N. Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea entered into force. Today the treaty, which establishes a regime for international regulation of oceans and seas, has 164 states parties, thanks to the joinders just this past September of Ecuador and Swaziland. A notable nonparty state is, as covered in posts available here, the United States of America. Notwithstanding arguments that tensions in the South China Sea make speedy ratification a U.S. national security issue – an argument cogently made in this Jurist article by Michael Kelly, our colleague at Creighton Law – continuing opposition by some in the Senate this summer forestalled any vote on ratification. Yet just days before the election that handed President Barack Obama a 2d term, support for ratification was reaffirmed by Senator John Kerry, the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee who's reportedly on the short list (along with U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice) to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.