This chapter considers the status of treaties within the U.S. legal system. The focus is on international agreements concluded through the senatorial advice and consent process specified in Article II of the Constitution. The chapter describes that process, including the Senate’s ability to condition its consent through reservations and other qualifications. It also discusses the role of treaties as supreme law of the land, including the situations in which treaties will be considered “self-executing” and “non–self-executing,” as well as the later-in-time relationship of treaties to federal statutes. The chapter also discusses the relationship of treaties to constitutional limitations concerning the separation of powers and federalism, including the implications of the Supreme Court’s 1920 decision in Missouri v. Holland. The chapter concludes with a consideration of how the United States terminates treaties.
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