Strake Jesuit PT

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Emory AC (prelims)
My position is that the US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC by ratifying the Rome Statute. This is consistent with the text of the resolution since it indefinitely refers to a court, so any court is sufficient to affirm.
The Rome Statute's system of complementarity entails a deference to national legal systems so long as they genuinely prosecute the defendant in the interest of justice. The principle of complementarity, thus, provides the best assurance for the US that US citizens are unlikely to ever be tried by the ICC unless the US government itself allows it.
That said, the ICC already has universal jurisdiction and refusing to ratify the Rome Statute does not change that fact. Johan van der Vyer explains:
The fact of the matter is, though, that American interests are not served by the position it has taken in regard to the ICC. The United States gains absolutely nothing by not ratifying the ICC Statute - except avoiding a financial contribution and not having to cooperate with the ICC to bring perpetrators of the concerned international crimes to justice. American nationals cannot avoid liability for international crimes simply because the United States might decline to ratify the ICC Statute, because those crimes were not created by the Rome Conference. The universal jurisdiction of national courts over American citizens suspected of having committed any of the crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is likewise founded on an age-old principle of customary international law. Moreover, the ICC's jurisdiction to prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is founded on indisputable and internationally recognized grounds, namely the jurisdictional principles of territoriality and nationality. [But] By ratifying the ICC Statute, the United States will become party to a commendable structure of international criminal justice and derive the right to be represented in the judicial and other organs of the ICC. What troubles the United States is, in reality, not a matter of principle or of self-interest but internal political expedience.
US citizens would still remain subject to the ICC due to universal jurisdiction even if the US did not ratify the Rome Statute. So, the only distinction between the affirmative and negative world is that the US does not get in the way of the internationally accepted jurisdiction when you affirm. But, by becoming a party state of the court, the US would have influence over ICC policy. Franck and Yuhan further:
First, state parties to the ICC regime enjoy prerogatives denied to nonparty states. Were it a party, the United States would participate in nominating and electing the judges and selecting the prosecutors. As a state party, the United States would have an influential voice in the Assembly of States Parties and the process by which further crimes such as aggression are defined. Moreover, as a state party, the United States would have the ability to exempt its nationals from war crimes prosecutions for the first seven years after it begins participating in the Court and would also have the right to exempt itself from prosecution under any amendment that would add any new crime (including aggression) to the ICC’s jurisdiction.
As such, in the negative world, the US has little recourse against ICC policy, but in the affirmative world, the US would have an ability to influence ICC policy through the Assembly of State Parties.
The value is governmental legitimacy since the resolution questions how the US ought to (should) act. Governmental obligations are based on the intention to protect the rights of their citizens; otherwise, there would be incentive for people to give up their liberties in the formation of said state. As such, states cannot be bound by moral constraints since such restrictions posit universal obligations, but states only have obligations to their own constituency.
Additionally, governmental action is zero sum. States face resource trade offs with every policy decision (e.g., whether to spend money on education or humanitarian aid), which makes it unrealistic to require governments to protect all of humanity. As such, states should defer to protecting those directly under their jurisdiction.
The standard is maximizing the international legitimacy of American power. This is the standard for two reasons.
First, a lack of international legitimacy in terms of foreign policy leads to soft balancing against the United States. Stephen Walt writes:
Countries are "soft balancing": coordinating their diplomatic positions to oppose U.S. policy and obtain more influence together. To name just a few [For] examples: France, Germany, and Russia pursued a unified strategy that helped prevent the United States from obtaining efforts to balance the UN Security Council authorization for the power of the United invasion of Iraq, and their actions allowed weaker states such as Mexico and Chile to resist U.S. pressure as well. Later, President Bush tried to persuade France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to get tough on Iran's nuclear programs, but he failed to drive a wedge between them and ended up endorsing their diplomatic campaign instead. Beyond Europe, combined opposition from Latin American countries has defeated the Bush administration's efforts to pressure the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, thwarted U.S. attempts to select the new head of the Organization of American States, and blocked a U.S. proposal to create a "democracy review" panel within the OAS.
Any act of soft balancing would be an attempt to oppose US policy interests and power within the international arena. As such, perceptions that lead to soft balancing ought to be avoided.
Second, foreign policy that is viewed as illegitimate is isolating. Walt again:
Attacking U.S. legitimacy is also a favorite perception that its way to erode Washington's clout. As the world's dominant power, the United States has much to gain from the perception that its power is legitimate. When people around the world believe that U.S. primacy advances broader global interests, Washington finds it easier to rally international support for its policies, leaving its opposition isolated and ineffective. Accordingly, the United States' opponents are currently seeking to convince others that Washington is selfish, hypocritical, immoral, and unsuited for world leadership, and that its dominance harms them. This assault on U.S. legitimacy does not directly challenge U.S. power, but it encourages other people to resent and resist U.S. supremacy.
Thus, if American foreign policy does not maintain its international legitimacy, then it will be harder for the US to garner support for even relatively benign interests and lead to a resistance against US supremacy.
My thesis is that ratification of the Rome Statute will increase the perceived legitimacy of US foreign policy. This is true for several reasons.
First, the ICC is an international body with nearly universal support. Erik Leonard explains:
The formation of the ICC is the result of several factors, including the confluence of material capabilities from the like-minded states, the ideational input of the CICC, along with the Rome Conference’s individual leadership. The result is an institution that reflects an intersubjectively accepted liberal hegemonic order. Despite this fact, the United States feels [that it is an] the need to attack and degrade the Court, describing it as an institution constructed of “unaccountable judges and prosecutors.” The fact of the matter is that the judiciary composition of [But] the ICC entails a set of democratically elected judges and prosecutors who are accountable to the body of member states. These judges and prosecutors [and] vow to uphold the principles of established international law as a form of law that, as this article has shown, fully reflects the basic construct of American constitutional law. In short, from a strategic standpoint, one can only describe the current administration’s position on the ICC as detrimental to the liberal grand strategy of American foreign policy. If, as Gramsci articulated, hegemony is based on consent and not coercion, then the United States must consider supporting institutions that reflect the liberal global order as the foundation of their hegemonic power. Anything less constitutes a sign of weakness, not strength.
Thus, not only does a rejection of the ICC undermine the US’ international legitimacy, but the ICC also provides sufficient accountability of the prosecutor and judges and procedural rights to defendants.
Franck and Yuhan further explain the impact of rejecting an international body with such great support:
Third, active U.S. participation in international bodies that have universal support is presumptively in the national interest. Failing to take this into account has costs.195 The tendency, especially in recent years, for the United States to opt out of universal regimes may be on the verge of creating a tangible anger against Washington that manifests itself in opposition even to relatively benign American interests and initiatives. 196 None of this argues for U.S. agreement when it is clearly in the national interest to demur. We have argued that this is not such a case. The costs of joining the Treaty of Rome are illusory, the benefits real.
Second, US rejection of the ICC demonstrates American exceptionalism and the intention to hold nations to a double standard. Robert Johansen writes:
By demanding exceptional treatment for themselves and others in the form of immunity from the Court, US officials are seen by much of the international community as practicing a law-evading form of exceptionalism and unilateralism. The United States operates with a double standard in expecting others to respect fundamental international laws, which Washington has enforced on others through ad hoc tribunals created by the Security Council, [and] through a Council referral to the ICC, and through the use of its own superior military power, while insisting on exemptions from international accountability for US citizens. Double standards undermine law enforcement and peoples’ willing compliance with the law, especially in a decentralized international legal system. A legal fabric torn by exemptions for a major actor is a weakened fabric, less able to deter future infractions and more likely to instill hatred and outrage against the inequities imposed by the United States.

Harold Koh gives three additional implications of the US' double standard. He writes:
For now, we should recognize at least four problems with double standards. The [F]irst is that, when the United States promotes double standards, it invariably ends up not on the higher rung, but on the lower rung with horrid bedfellows-for example, with such countries as Iran, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia, the only other countries that have not in practice either abolished or declared a moratorium upon the imposition of the death penalty on juvenile offenders. This appearance of hypocrisy undercuts America's ability to pursue an affirmative human rights agenda. Worse yet, by espousing the double standard, the United States often finds itself co-opted into either condoning or defending other countries' human rights abuses, even when it previously criticized them (as has happened, for example, with the United States critique of military tribunals in Peru, Russia's war on Chechen "terrorists," or China's crackdown on Uighur Muslims).29 Third, [Second] the perception that the United States applies one standard to the world and another to itself sharply weakens America's claim to lead globally through moral authority. This diminishes U.S. power to persuade through principle, a critical element of American "soft power." Fourth, and perhaps most important, [Third] by opposing the global rules, the United States can end up undermining the legitimacy of the rules themselves, not just modifying them to suit America's purposes. The irony, of course, is that, by doing so, the United States disempowers itself from invoking those rules, at precisely the moment when it needs those rules to serve its own national purposes.
Finally, becoming a party member of the court would benefit American citizens and help the US avoid unfair foreign prosecutions. Kenneth Roth concludes:
If an American faced prosecution by an untrustworthy foreign court, the United States undoubtedly would apply pressure for his or her release. If that failed, however, it might prove useful to offer the prosecuting government the face-saving alternative of transferring the suspect to the ICC, with its extensive procedural protections, including deference to good-faith investigations and prosecutions by a suspect's own government. Unfortunately, the legislation being pushed by ICC opponents in Washington would preclude that option.
The impact is that submission to the ICC's jurisdiction would provide recourse against the prosecution of US citizens in inadequate or impartial foreign courts. The ICC's deference to national courts would then increase US legitimacy because the US would then be required to investigate and prosecute its own national, while avoiding the politically dangerous foreign prosecution.

Terrorism AC (prelims)
My position is that the US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC.
I value morality since the resolution questions how the US ought to act. Ought is defined as moral desirability. The standard is minimizing undue harm to actors since all ethical systems are a means of improving the lives of actors, as we label actions as transgressions of ethics and thus not to be done. So, to claim that it is in line with ethics to implement the policy that maximizes arbitrary suffering would make ethics self-defeating.
Moreover, the state is an apparatus with the purpose of the protecting its citizens as much as possible or else there would be no incentive for individuals to give up their liberties in the formation of said state. Thus, since the context is the US government, the only requirement of justice can be the protection of citizens, making side-constraints irrelevant.
Also, morality must be comparative between competing actions or else morality would be destroyed as a guide for social interaction. If we could not choose between the lesser of two evils, then morality would lose its normative force. Subjects who are powerless to meet the demands of morality simply choose whatever they want, as they are wrong either way.
I contend that affirming decreases terrorism.
A.) ASPA and bilateral immunity agreements undermine the global effort in the war against terror by decreasing the amount of financial and military aid we give to allies. Lana Wylie writes
Assistance provided to states with a nascent or established Islamic and non-Islamic terrorist presence has also been affected. For example, American aid has previously gone to support efforts by Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay to fight reported Islamic and narcotics terrorist networks in the tri-border area between the three countries. Under the ASPA military assistance to Brazil and Paraguay is now frozen, reportedly hurting these efforts. Brian Thompson, manager for the international law and justice program at Citizens for Global Solutions, argues that many Latin American and Caribbean “countries have already lost millions in U.S. military assistance over their (ICC) position… Cutting more aid will not change their minds, but will undermine our diplomatic relations and weaken our ability to cooperate with them in the global effort against terrorism and other U.S. Priorities.”:
Thus, US attempts to undermine the ICC cripple our allies in the global fight against terror.
B.) The ICC reduces our military commitments abroad. William Nash writes:
The International Criminal Court, as a vehicle for holding accountable the perpetrators of the most horrific internationally recognized crimes, offers another way to strengthen the international rules the United States has worked to uphold. By allowing the international community to guarantee individual responsibility, the Court may help avert wider conflicts. By promoting justice, it may help end a cycle of violence in a particular historical conflict. To the extent that the Court helps accomplish any of these objectives, it may reduce demands for U.S. military action.
Reducing our military commitments abroad frees up US resources for necessary military action in the fight against terror. This prevents an overstretch in American troops and decreases the perception of the US as acting imperialistically (through humanitarian intervention), a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations.
There are several safeguards to prevent political prosecution against an American service member. Richard Goldstone writes:
The US opposition to the ICC appears to be based upon fears, especially in its armed forces, that a runaway prosecutor or biased judges will launch politically motivated and unjustifiable trials (and subsequent convictions) of American military personnel or political leaders. This seems an unlikely eventuality and one which is seemingly addressed by the several safeguards built into the Rome Treaty. The first such safeguard is the requirement that judges on the ICC must receive the affirmative vote of two thirds of all the states parties, ensuring a broad level of support of states for those serving on the ICC bench. The second [first] safeguard is the principle of complementarity referred to earlier. According to the treaty itself, [since] the United States could thwart an investigation by the ICC by launching its own bona fide investigation. The third [second] safeguard is the requirement that the prosecutor requires the permission of a pre-trial chamber in order to proceed with an investigation or cause an arrest warrant to issue. This can be a serious hurdle, as a nation whose citizen is sought to be investigated has standing to oppose the motion of the prosecutor. Moreover, the decision of the pre-trial chamber to investigate a given citizen may be appealed to the appeals chamber of the ICC.
Thus, any fear of political prosecution against the US is unfounded since the US will be afforded more than enough checks by the ICC.
C.) The ICC forces governments to stop harboring terrorists. Vincent-Joel Proulx writes:
Other acts of international terrorism, which do not compare in magnitude to the events of September 11th, yet still [that] constitute[s] an affront to the principles of humanity, should be prosecuted under this mechanism. The acceptance of such a proposition could encourage certain countries to revisit extradition treaties and rethink their policies on combating terrorism. It would also make it so that corrupt governments and vitiated judicial systems' handling of terrorism cases is not the last instance. Regardless of the direction or measures the international community wishes to take, I believe that Lord Denning' advice should be followed: international law must evolve. The global reality is fairly simple: terrorism involves the international community as a whole. n325 I contend that the interpretation of international treaties should adapt accordingly, and that multilateral cooperation on terrorism should be increased. Oftentimes, the financing structure and network of a given terrorist organization reaches well above and beyond national borders. n326 The world is faced with a wave of neo-terrorism that expands on new technologies, cyberspace, access to new weaponry, increased networking, [and] significant financial support, solid and efficient command and financing structures, etc. I contend that the national courts are not always suited to adjudicating such offenses, and that an international tribunal would be an adequate forum for assessing all of the extrinsic and intrinsic legal elements in terrorism cases.
The ICC is also preferable to domestic courts in terms of trying terrorists. Mira Banchik writes:
The ICC is a neutral forum for prosecution on the international level. In accordance with Art. 36 (3) (a), judges working at the ICC “shall be chosen from among persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity”. Among many other criteria ensuring neutrality, Art. 36 (8) (a) (ii) guarantees that the panel of judges be selected according to an equitable geographical representation. The neutrality of the ICC could contribute to a more effective prosecution of terrorists. It could help avoid the possibility that terrorists seek safe haven in states that distrust the judicial system of the victimized state, do not want to extradite for political reasons, or are simply unwilling to prosecute. And it would potentially minimize the risk of states acting in violation of international law and against international concerns by refusing to extradite or prosecute. Today, states have to rely on extradition treaties if the offender is not present in their territory. But sometimes national prejudice governs the extradition process. Libya for example refused to hand over the alleged suspects of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing for a long time. Taking this incident as a test case: a sentence by an international court like the ICC would hurt Libya far more than a guilty verdict from an American court. Because the United States is regarded as Libya’s enemy, Libya assumes and expects that the suspects would be found guilty. The same will be true for trials regarding the September 11 attacks. International trials will be perceived as more objective and neutral because, again, Al Qaeda terrorists and states which grant them a safe haven, view the United States as being prejudiced and not able to exercise neutrality. The ICC on the contrary, consisting of an international and geographically equitable selected panel of judges, is an unbiased forum.
These international prosecutions will only be successful if the US submits to ICC jurisdiction. Lucy Martinez writes:
The non-involvement of the United States has broad political, financial, technical and intelligence implications for the ICC. As has been pointed out by commentators, the League of Nations failed without United States participation at a time when the United States was a much less important player in the world arena. The non-involvement of the United States may be particularly problematic in the context of the prosecution of terrorists at the ICC as the United States has the largest law enforcement nets in the world, and is also currently in the midst of waging a self-proclaimed "war on terrorism." The United States's rejection of the ICC generally, and its creation of military tribunals to deal with terrorists, leaves little room for the operation of any ICC jurisdiction over terrorists, at least in relation to those individuals in the custody of the United States. For example, al Qaeda operatives captured by the United States in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Germany and other parts of the world will be in United States custody, and thus it is extremely unlikely that they will be surrendered to the ICC. This non-involvement of the United States in the ICC means that it is very unlikely that terrorists will be prosecuted at the Court.
Punishing terrorists through the vehicle of international law sends the message that terrorists will no longer act with impunity. Mark Drumbl writes:
There also is expressive value in charging a defendant with a crime against the global trust, namely an extraordinary international crime, which weighs in favor of charging terrorists with violations of the one set of universal international conventions regulating international humanitarian law, namely the Geneva Conventions. Much is lost when we do not equate wide-scale terrorist acts against civilian populations, for example the September 11 attacks, with substantive crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.
It is very easy for us to conclude that terrorists are outlaws and barbarians; and add that by virtue of their ignoble conduct, they disentitle themselves from the protection of any law. In other words, because terrorists fight outside the confines of the Geneva Conventions, the Conventions do not apply to them. The next step on the slippery slope is that, because we are fighting against these barbarians, we, too, should be able to fight outside the strictures of the Conventions. I would resist these impulses, which occasion a race to the bottom.
Instead, we should take a more difficult tack, namely that terrorists' decisions to fight outside the strictures of the Conventions render them guilty of violating the Conventions, for which they should be prosecuted and punished: noncompliance should be sanctioned in a manner that expressively punishes and stigmatizes both the wrongdoer and the wrongdoing.
Thus, international prosecutions make terrorism less appealing to individuals and reduces the likelihood that they can find support within communities because it stigmatizes the wrong doing (the terrorist act). As such, trials not only serve a punishing or retributive function, but also serve as a deterrent and symbolic prevention of terrorist action.
D.) The US assault on and lack of support for the ICC has harmed US multilateralism and relationships with key allies. Fiona McKey writes:
A second major aspect of the U.S. assault on the ICC is that it has caused the U.S. to work directly against the trend towards stronger international cooperation to combat impunity for atrocities. The U.S. is in danger of placing itself outside the global consensus that has emerged during the past half century through working together to ensure that there is no safe haven for those who commit the worst of crimes. This consensus rests not only on the International Criminal Court but also other important pillars such as the principle aut dedere aut judicare. The attempt as seen in the Security Council resolution on Liberia to oust these forms of jurisdiction is particularly troubling. A third concern is the damage done to the functioning of the international legal order by the abuse of the powers of the Security Council and attempts [in attempting] to override not only the Rome Statute but also other international law. In so doing, the U.S. has been ready to jeopardize crucial international peacekeeping efforts in order to get its way. In this regard the U.S. drive to achieve its objectives has been shortsighted and has come at considerable legal and political costs, both immediate and long term.
The ICC will strengthen international support for the US' fight against terror, increasing its efficacy. Laura Dickinson writes:
An international legal process would help to build on these cooperative efforts. First, as discussed in more detail below, an international process would likely have greater legitimacy internationally than the proposed military commissions or even domestic trials within the United States. If other governments perceive the United States as acting fairly and with appropriate deference to international norms, they are more likely to continue as active members of a coalition to combat terrorism. Second, even beyond the question of perceived legitimacy, the international proceeding itself, by involving participants from many countries, would strengthen both formal and informal intergovernmental networks and institutions. An international proceeding would involve participants from many nations in the prosecution and punishment of terrorism suspects, which would give those nations a stake in the process, lead to the development of a cadre of governmental, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental personnel with expertise in addressing the problem of terrorism, and foster channels of communication and collaboration among them.
International cooperation is key to winning the fight against terrorism. Joseph Nye writes:
We may be able for example to use our military power effectively as we did in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban government or as we did in the three and a half week campaign in Iraq, but the problems of wrapping up an organization like Al-Qaeda or governing a country like Iraq is that they are much less susceptible to solutions by military power alone. Looking at Afghanistan you’ll notice that we where able to replace the Taliban Government quickly but we only wrapped up about a quarter of Al Qaeda using military power. When you have a terrorist network with cells in 50 or 60 countries you simply can’t bomb them all. Some of these cells are in places like Hamburg or Detroit, where you cant bomb them, the only way you can deal with that kind of a threat is through close civilian cooperation. Meaning intelligence sharing, police work across borders, tracing financial flows and so forth. The difficulty I see is if we focus solely on our military power and solely on hard power, we may forget that what we really need is to get others to cooperate with us to deal with these new types of threats.

The impact of reducing terrorism is the biggest impact in the round. Terrorists threaten the livelihood of the international arena as a whole, especially given the new threat of nuclear terrorism. Al Qaeda has been attempting to acquire nuclear materials and a bomb is not totally out of reach. Graham Allison writes:
Al Qaeda operatives made repeated trips to three central Asian states, seeking the purchase of a complete warhear or weapons-usable nuclear material.

In September 1998, Israeli intelligence sources told Time magazine that bin Laden had paid $2 million to a man in Kazakhstan who promised to deliver a Soviet suitcase nuclear devise. One month later, the Arabic language magazine Al Watan Al Arabi reported that bin Laden’s followers had purchased twenty nuclear warheads from Chechens in exchange for $30 million in cash and two tons of opium.
The easiest way for Al Qaeda to attain weapons would be through new or unstable nuclear states or by hiring scientists similar to Sultan Mahmood, one of Pakistan's leading nuclear scientists who gave much of his knowledge to middle eastern nations and terrorist groups.
It is indisputable that terrorists have the intention to harm others, so the problem can not be treated lightly. Even without nuclear weapons, terrorists have demonstrated that they are capable of taking thousands of lives and striking fear through the entire world with a single attack.


Bushism AC (elims)
My position is that US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC by ratifying the Rome Statute.
I value governmental legitimacy because the resolution questions what the US ought to do. The standard is undermining President Bush’s policies. This must be the standard for several reasons.
First, Bush’s foreign policy killed innocent civilians abroad and infringed upon civil liberties at home. Maher Arar writes:
Immediately following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, former president George W. Bush launched what he called a "war on terror," a war that did not distinguish between the innocent and the guilty, and a war that left a legacy of death, destruction, and torture. He used his military, law enforcement, and strategic "intelligence" to invade both Afghanistan and later Iraq. We now know the invasion of Iraq was based on faulty CIA information.
The important question to ask is whether Bush achieved his objective of defeating terror, and if he did, at what cost?
It is estimated that the lives of more than 100,000 innocent Muslim civilians have been lost in these two invasions. Untold others suffered permanent injuries.
Inside the U.S., hundreds of Muslims were rounded up without cause, and those who were put on trial did not receive a fair one. Essentially, Muslims in the U.S. came under siege and their loyalty to U.S. values was questioned. The majority of non-Muslim Americans believed that this erosion of civil liberties was confined to a very small portion of the population. But they soon came to realize that the National Security Agency [NSA] was indiscriminately spying on their phone and electronic communications as well.
If the US does not undermine and delegitimize Bush’s policies, then we will justify a precedent that subjects the lives of non-citizens to the whim of our power—harming international perception abroad—and citizens to a security state, removing any guarantee to civil protection. This ultimately makes us less secure by a. giving other states the right to intervene abroad and oppress their citizens under the guise of increasing security and b. alienating Muslims domestically, which prevents us from using the Muslim community to gather intelligence and find terrorists before they can attack us.
Second, Bush’s foreign policy has undermined the legitimacy of American power. Polpacon writes:
After the 2003 invasion of Iraq without the United Nations’ approval, distrust towards American foreign policy tends to fester and further reduce American leverage. Moreover, critics point to incidents such as the alleged use of chemical weapons against residents of Fallujah, and the use of military force to disperse anti-American demonstrations in Iraq. Even worse, the United States forces violate international Geneva Conventions in events such as the torture and prisoner abuse scandal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Bagram, Afghanistan, and Abu Ghraib, Iraq. As a result, the legitimacy of United States power has vanished entirely. This is why the United States has failed to convince others to accept American legitimacy. Many people now believe that if American military act immorally or unethically then they are no better people than the “insurgents” they are trying to find.
The US must recover the legitimacy of its power to protect both US and global security. Ron Suskind writes:
Over the past eight years, we have embraced a reckless unilateral posture of action over analysis, discarding [discarded] the "good process" of prudent, evidence-based policy debate in favor of the Nike Doctrine -- just do it, and clean up the mess later.
But seven years later, glorious victories, from Iraq to Afghanistan, have been slow in coming. Secret prisons, torture, putting U.S. citizens and foreigners under surveillance -- or sending armies into civilian populations to tease out friend from foe at the muzzle of a gun -- don't work very well. That's why, over the centuries, they've been discarded one by one.
But what happens next? If ever there were a president who could credibly claim to signify a clean break from his predecessor, that commander in chief is Obama. But the United States also needs a plan that shows that what's coming won't be business as usual.
The core conundrum: How does a nation with so much power, both military and economic, go about restoring moral energy, the source of true clout in the world?
The sensation of absent moral power has been felt, like a lost limb, by Americans of all stripes. But its effects are also concrete: Without it, the United States would be unable to muster a coalition to challenge Iran's nuclear ambitions, oppose Vladimir Putin's bullying in Georgia or mount a global effort to round up loose fissile materials in the world's black markets. Without moral leadership, there's no way to herd the world's cats, large and small. The response of rogue states, such newly hopeful competitors as Russia and even terrorist networks will be uniform: Welcome to the mud, America. Kind of messy at this end of the slippery slope, isn't it?
Even if international legitimacy in general is irrelevant, my argument is specific to the legitimacy of American intervention abroad. Perceptions of American foreign policy as illegitimate makes it more difficult for states to justify cooperating with American peacekeeping, sanctions, or criticism even in cases where humanitarian intervention is warranted.
Third, the US needs to move away from the perception of being unilateralist to confront today’s global issues. Johann Hari writes:
Transformation Four: The End of the Unipolar Fantasy. The Bush administration believed that, as the last remaining super-power, it could impose its will on the world with force. It made little effort to compromise with - or even listen to - a world it wanted to bring to heel. It boasted of the need to maintain "full spectrum dominance" over the planet, and to have more firepower than all their potential rivals combined. It trashed treaties, scorned the UN, and refused to talk to anybody they disagreed with. It was always doomed to failure, because very few international problems can be handled with force. You can't fire cruise missiles at an unravelling climate or a tricky peace process or bird flu.
Fourth, the US, as a representative government, has a contractual obligation to listen to the will of its people. This best respects freedom since it allows individuals to act upon their personal views, while any other political system would reject this principal. Obama ran on the promise that we would not go through another four years of Bush’s policies and the people spoke their mind and elected him as president. As such, the US has an obligation to reject Bush’s policies of international exceptionalism and unilateralism.
Additionally, the negative has to defend an alternative. To change a policy requires a positive shift in doctrine and a demonstration that American policies are based on different principles. To simply do nothing would create the impression that America hasn’t changed. Thus, without an alternative, you vote affirmative.
I contend that submitting to the jurisdiction of the ICC will undermine President Bush’s policies.
First, submission to the ICC would deter future US leaders from engaging in harmful unilateral action like Iraq since the damage that an international investigation and prosecution by the ICC would be detrimental to the leader’s domestic and international standing. Many countries requested that the ICC investigate the US for its actions in Iraq, but the prosecutor refused with the sole reason being that the US was not under the jurisdiction of the ICC. At the very least, if the US were under the ICC's jurisdiction, it would cause the US to be as careful as possible when implementing its military strategy as an attempt to avoid international prosecution.
Second, Obama should ratify the Rome Statute to demonstrate a changed America to the international community. Roger Cohen writes:
As a result, I can think of [There is] no better place for President-elect Barack Obama to start in signaling a changed American approach to the world, and particularly its European allies, than the [ICC] International Criminal Court. Even short of American membership, which would involve a tough battle in Congress, there is much he can do. But ''re-signing'' followed by ratification should be Obama's aim. The effect of U.S. rejection of the court, combined with the trashing of habeas corpus at Guantanamo Bay, has been devastating. Allies from Canada to Germany that are court members have been dismayed by the U.S. dismissal of an institution they see doing evident good. Other smaller nations from Latin America to Africa, browbeaten by the United States on the issue of the court, have looked elsewhere for lost military or financial support. The American idea, grounded in legal principles, has been undermined. It's time to look again at the International Criminal Court. Over the past six years, the court has achieved what Philippe Kirsch, its Canadian president, called ''a great deal of acceptability.'' There are now 108 member countries, including every European Union nation except the Czech Republic, which appears set to join. The United States stands alone among major Western industrial powers in rejecting the court: it has in effect deserted those powers' attempt to mark a new century with a new commitment to eradicating genocide and crimes against humanity by ensuring there is no impunity for them. Washington has broken ranks with the Western liberal tradition of which it should be a cornerstone.
As such, by ratifying the Rome Statute, Obama would send a message to the international arena that the Bush Doctrine no longer runs America. Supporting the ICC will aid US relations with foreign countries regardless of the harms of the court (e.g., increase in violence) because ratification will signal a changed America in and of itself.
Third, submission to the international court will signal a dedication to cooperative, multilateral foreign policy in the midst of the world's fight against terrorist action. Laura Dickinson writes:
An international legal process would help to build on these cooperative efforts. First, as discussed in more detail below, an international process would likely have greater legitimacy internationally than the proposed military commissions or even domestic trials within the United States. If other governments perceive the United States as acting fairly and with appropriate deference to international norms, they are more likely to continue as active members of a coalition to combat terrorism. Second, even beyond the question of perceived legitimacy, the international proceeding itself, by involving participants from many countries, would strengthen both formal and informal intergovernmental networks and institutions. An international proceeding would involve participants from many nations in the prosecution and punishment of terrorism suspects, which would give those nations a stake in the process, lead to the development of a cadre of governmental, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental personnel with expertise in addressing the problem of terrorism, and foster channels of communication and collaboration among them.
Thus, submission to the ICC's jurisdiction would lead to multilateral cooperation, a clear break from the unilateral policies of President Bush. The ICC is also the best means by which the US can confront its battle against global terrorism because it will help garner support for US initiatives and increase communication and collaboration from several nations that have a stake in the process.
Fourth, the US has made security council referrals to the ICC and aided in the establishment of ad hoc tribunals via the UN. Thus, rejection of the international criminal court is nothing short of US exceptionalism—the application of one standard to the US and another to the rest of the world—and this double standard is a central tenet of the Bush Doctrine. Koh writes:
If these are the elements of the emerging Bush Doctrine, what makes it so troubling? Because such a [The Bush] doctrine makes double standards - the most virulent strain of American exceptionalism - not just the exception, but the rule. Each element of the emerging Bush Doctrine places the United States in the position of promoting genuine double standards, one for itself, and another for the rest of the world. The exclusive focus on American vulnerability ignores the far greater vulnerability of such countries as, for example, Israel and Turkey (which, being a neighbor of Iraq, surely had more to fear from Saddam Hussein than did the United States, yet still denied American soldiers the right to stage ground operations from Turkish bases). [For example] Even while asserting its own right of preemptive self-defense, the United States has properly hesitated to recognize any other country's claim to engage in forced disarmament or preemptive self-defense in the name of homeland security. The technique of creating extralegal "rights-free" zones and individuals under U.S. jurisdiction necessarily erects a double standard within American jurisprudence, by separating those places and people to whom America must accord rights from those it may treat effectively as human beings without human rights.
Thus, the only way the US could eradicate this double standard is by submitting to the ICC's jurisdiction. By not ratifying the Rome Statute, America would promote the hypocrisy of the Bush Doctrine by necessitating exclusive rules of conduct for US citizens while simultaneously imposing more stringent rules on others. This decreases international legitimacy and the willingness of other nations to work with the US because such foreign policy is conducive to a perception of arrogance in regards to the US.
Additionally, only ratifying the Rome Statute can solve. Tom Engelhardt (The Bush Doctrine in Ruins,
October 22, 2008) writes,
In the 2003 National Security Strategy of the United States was this infamous line: "Our strength as a nation-state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes and terrorism." In other words, the UN, the International Criminal Court, and al-Qaeda were all thrown into the same despised category, along with, implicitly, international public opinion.
Rejection of ICC ratification is a central component of the Bush Doctrine. Thus, ratifying the Rome Statute definitionally satisfies the standard, and anything less would signal that the Obama doctrine is merely a modification of the Bush doctrine, and nothing more.

Failed States AC (elims)
My position is that the US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC by ratifying the Rome Statute.
Without US support, the ICC will have little legitimacy within the international arena.
I value governmental legitimacy since the resolution questions what the US government should do. Governmental obligations are based on the intention to protect individual rights; otherwise, there would be incentive for people to give up their liberties in the formation of said state. As such, states cannot be bound by moral constraints since such restrictions posit universal obligations, but states only have obligations to their own constituency.
The standard is stabilizing failed states. A failed state is a state that lacks the capacity and/or resources to enforce public order, to provide basic services to its citizens, or to prevent challenges to its own authority domestically and in neighboring states.
Failed states jeopardize the safety of all members of the international community as conflict spills across borders. The Economist in '09 writes:
Take the case of Somalia: America sent troops there in 1992 to help the United Nations stave off a humanitarian catastrophe, but the armed chaos of Mogadishu soon drove it out. In recent years, America has again been active in that region, carrying out air strikes in Somalia against suspected jihadist camps. It supported Ethiopia's military invasion in 2006 to defeat the Islamist militias that had taken power in Mogadishu (arguably causing even more chaos) and is now backing an African peacekeeping mission for the same reasons. The waters off the Somali coast, moreover, have become one of the prime zones of piracy at sea, disrupting shipping through the Suez Canal. Even China has felt the need to send warships to the Gulf of Aden to protect its shipping. Afghanistan, too, is often seen as a classic example of the perils of collapsing states: acute poverty and years of civil war led to the rise of the Taliban and allowed al-Qaeda to turn into a global menace. After the American-led intervention in 2001, both have rebated themselves across the border in Pakistan's lawless tribal regions, from where they wage a growing insurgency in southern Afghanistan, destabilise Pakistan and plot attacks against Western targets around the world. Western intelligence agencies say that, with the recent improvement in security in Iraq (a totalitarian state that became a failed state only after the American-led invasion), the world's jihadists now prefer to head for Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen. Misrule, violence, corruption, forced migration, poverty, illiteracy and disease can all reinforce each other. Conflict may impoverish populations, increase the availability of weapons and debilitate rulers. Weak governments, in turn, are less able to stop corruption and the production and smuggling of arms and drugs, which may in turn help finance warlords, insurgents and terrorists. [Moreover] Instability breeds instability. The chronic weaknesses of civil institutions in Sierra Leone and Liberia contributed to the outbreak of devastating civil wars in both countries, fuelled by the profits from the illegal smuggling of "blood diamonds". Meanwhile war and genocide in Rwanda contributed to the collapse of the [DRC] Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s. The chaos there, sustained in part by fighting over mineral resources, sucked in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Chad and Sudan support rebels in each other's countries. At the very least, there is evidence that economic growth in countries next to failing states can be badly damaged. And if a poorly functioning but important oil-producing state like Nigeria were to fall apart, the economic fallout would be global. Moreover, weak governments may lack the wherewithal to identify and contain a pandemic that could spread globally.
What's more, failed states are conducive to terrorist activity and give rise to the possibility of nuclear terrorism. As such, aiding failed states is in US policy interests. Liana Wyler writes
The events of 9/11 prompted President George W. Bush to claim in the 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy that “weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states.” In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice further emphasized how weak and failing states pose “unparalleled” danger to the United States, serving as “global pathways” that facilitate the “movement of criminals and terrorists” and “proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons.” Many national security observers highlight such Administration language to indicate that U.S. interest in weak and failing states has become more substantial since 9/11 and is motivated largely by national security interests.
Recognizing this danger, the US government has already taken major steps towards stabilizing failing governments. Emily Krasnor 1 writes:
Even the cover letter of the National Security Strategy asserts that the U.S. position of “unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence” can work to stand as a bulwark against “terrorists,” “tyrants,” “shadowy networks,” “weak states,” and “weak institutions.” Acknowledging that various combinations of the aforementioned actors create conditions conducive to terrorism, insecurity, and human rights abuses, the document pledges to pursue the development and fortification of open societies.
I contend that US submission to the ICC is necessary to help stabilize failing states. First, regional violence that spills over from failing states can be checked by the ICC, but, as the world's hegemon, US submission is key to any success. Krasnor 2 writes:
Conflict often knows no borders and can spill over into neighboring states. The new standards can lessen the contagion of instability. Infectious violence resulting from perpetual impunity for serious crimes afflicted the West African states of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau in the 1990s. This highlights the powerful link between government, alliances, and conflict in a corner of Africa that typically generates little interest elsewhere in the world. When conflict spills over to small states that are not the focus of the world’s or even the region’s hegemons, a system of law and order that could prevent unwieldy power and unnoticed abuses becomes important. Currently, all the states embroiled in that West African conflict, and those on the periphery of the conflict, such as Senegal and Burkina Faso, have either signed or ratified the Rome Statute. Perhaps past atrocities will define the nature of future government behavior with the awareness created catalyzed by the Criminal Court statute. The power of example should not be underestimated. The hegemonic states of the world not only act, but act as precedent setters. The American refusal to examine the content of its own conduct does not go unnoticed. While playing a significant financial and policy role in forming international courts, the United States has still maintained that these mechanisms as well as the international law, generally, are ultimately designed for others.
Additionally, the ICC helps failed states resolve their own conflicts. Tom Ginsburg writes,

In a recent paper, Beth Simmons and Allison Danner argue that the ICC solves a commitment problem for state parties that are fighting civil wars and insurgencies. By signing the Rome Statute, and making the government potentially prosecutable for offenses, they argue that a state ties its hands in terms of the tactics that can be used to fight rebels. If the government uses illegal tactics, it will be subject to sanction by the ICC. This makes accession to the ICC regime costly, and sends a signal to domestic opponents. The ICC becomes a kind of international monitor of domestic behavior, a particularly important function that would otherwise be difficult to obtain in the absence of domestic accountability mechanisms.
Thus, the ICC has the ability to help failed states and check the spill over in violence, but it needs US support.
Second, the principle of complementarity is designed to deal with weak states in that “unable” refers to the breakdown of the judicial system in the affected states. As such, the ICC is a court of last resort that can only hear cases under certain conditions, which are often present in fragile states. The principle of complementarity further increases the legitimacy of domestic courts in failing states. Martin Mennecke writes:
Under the notion of positive complementarity, the ICC strives to assist proceedings before national courts, building partnerships in the battle against impunity. This could include measures such as establishing platforms for dialogue with national authorities, but also providing direct assistance to the national proceedings. Moreover, the ICC statute requires that member states have procedures in place to co-operate with the Court, which means that national judicial systems have to be adapted, often requiring specific legislation. Thus ideally the ICC membership of a fragile state spurs legal reforms and helps national courts to confront massive human rights violations. Therefore, the ICC’s complementarity principle also entails an important task for development co-operation, namely to assist national legal systems in drafting the requisite legislation and to build up the capacities and expertise to deal with gross human rights violations.
This is empirically verified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Krasnor 3 writes:
Some critics say that many international treaties and covenants are not worth the paper they’re printed on, since their enforcement mechanisms are weak. Yet recent changes in domestic law as a result of the Rome Statute have produced more robust legal systems in such fragile states as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC has endured a protracted civil war that has killed more than 3.3 million people, through direct combat and a massive health crisis. After a bloody decade of war and three decades of a dictator that personified the classic example of a “failed state,” the DRC has expressed a new commitment to justice by signing the Rome Statute. This could permeate and profoundly change the political institutions of this society. Second only to halting any ongoing violence is the task of establishing a durable rights framework that will prevent atrocities from recurring.
The problem is that US exemption from the court is used a justification weak states' lack of cooperation with the court. For example, the Sudanese government's statement on the ICC reads:
We reject this decision on the basis that it has no jurisdiction over us, as we are not a party to the Rome Statute that established it. We reject its [the ICC's] pretension to authority over our sovereignty on the same principle that the United States, India, China and many others who aren't signatories stand on. We reject it because our own judicial institutions are as capable and independent as those of any other well functioning democracies in the world.
The impact is that a legitimate judicial system is able to maintain the requisite order in failing states. The principle of complementarity has had a tangible impact on domestic legal systems by establishing situations conducive to earnest investigation and prosecution, which are intrinsic to a politically stable society that values justice and promotes human rights. Only if the US submits to the jurisdiction of the ICC will other nations, such as Sudan, feel the pressure to submit themselves.
Third, prosecution of those that commit crimes against humanity is necessary for national stability. Michael Scharf writes:
Failure to prosecute leaders responsible for human rights abuses breeds contempt for the law and encourages future violations. The U.N. Commission on Human Rights and its Subcommission on minorities have concluded that impunity is one of the main reasons for continuing grave violations of human rights throughout the world. Reports indicate that the granting of amnesty or de facto impunity [and] has led to increased abuses in Chile and El Salvador. What a new or reinstated democracy needs most is legitimacy, which requires a fair, credible, and transparent account of what took place and who was responsible. Criminal trials (especially those involving proof of widespread and systematic abuses) can generate a comprehensive record of the nature and extent of violations, how they were planned and executed, the fate of individual victims, who gave the orders, and who carried them out. The most authoritative rendering of the truth is the crucible of a trial that accords full due process.
When domestic courts are unable to hold offenders accountable, the ICC can serve as a backup to those national courts. Michael Struett 1 explains:
The ICC First, as its founders intended, it creates an incentive for states to be more consistent in punishing violations of international criminal law that occur on their territory. However, the first few investigations that the ICC has undertaken in Uganda and the Congo and the recent request for court action in Burundi suggest another dynamic that is likely to develop between states and the ICC. Second, for weak states that have difficulty maintaining law and order on their own territory, the ICC creates a tremendous incentive and a standing mechanism to request international assistance in carrying out investigations and trails of gross human rights abusers. This is a type of burden shifting that transfers responsibility to the individual state to the ICC.
The ICC needs American support to be viewed as legitimate. Struett 2 writes:
For the ICC to be legitimate, it must create the impression that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide can be prosecuted regardless of who commits them, be they citizen of impoverished failed states or great powers. For this reason, the authors of the ICC statute understood it was better to have an ICC without the United States rather than an ICC that effectively exempted U.S. citizens from prosecution. The purpose of the ICC is not primarily to try American citizens or the leaders, citizens or soldiers of any other state with well-functioning judicial institutions. Nevertheless, the framers of the statute of the new permanent ICC realized that the new court would only be perceived as legitimate if all the founding states accepted the court’s authority. Even powerful states must open themselves up to judgment in theory. A court that procedurally exempted the permanent members of the Security Council would continue to face the legitimacy crises of Nuremberg and the other ad hoc tribunals, namely, the perception that international humanitarian law crimes will only ever be punished when committed by leaders from relatively weak states and only when the powerful see it as in their interest to back an international tribunal with force.
The impact is that affirming strengthens the rule of law in states that previously lacked the institutional structures to hold criminals accountable. These judicial structures are prerequisites to creating and maintaining order in countries where peace and order are in short supply.
By promoting order in failed states affirming provides a comprehensive solution to global conflict rather than treating each conflict as it arises. Even if affirming leads to occasional flare ups in violence it is still preferable because it acts to solve the source of much of the globes current violence and instability.


Military Force DA (prelims)
The negative advocacy is that we should use military force to intervene in atrocities rather than submit to the ICC in the hope that prosecutions will stop the violence.

A. Military force is preferable to the ICC.

First, the ICC cannot solve for atrocities in ongoing conflicts. Rodman 08 writes,
First, international criminal justice cannot end impunity in an ongoing war as long as states and intergovernmental organizations are unwilling to take enforcement actions. In Bosnia, the ICTY had little impact on the murder and forced displacement of civilians when the UN and NATO were unwilling to move beyond neutral peacekeeping and mediation—a condition that characterizes international involvement in Darfur today, notwithstanding the referral to the ICC. It was only when NATO was willing to use force, both directly and via proxy, that the attacks on civilians ended and the ICTY was able to prosecute anyone of significance.
Second, the key to ending criminal violence in an ongoing war is not deterrence, which is aimed at dissuading someone from initiating proscribed behavior, but rather compellence, the act of preventing someone from continuing actions on which he has already embarked. The threat of prosecution is unlikely to deter because, by the time a tribunal asserts jurisdiction, large-scale crimes have already taken place and in most cases, as was the case in Bosnia and is the case in Darfur, responsibility lies with top political and military leaders. As a result, attaching legal liability does not create an incentive to refrain from criminal activity. The challenge is to prevent the continuation of crimes that have already been set in motion, and that requires compelling the target to change its behavior.

Thus, using ICC prosecutions ensures that violence will continue in nations like Darfur. Military intervention, on the other hand, immediately removes criminal regimes from power.

Additionally, ICC prosecutions give regimes an incentive to continue the violence. Surrendering means that leaders will be removed from power, tried, and punished, whereas continuing the violence maintains their position and makes it possible to cut a deal for amnesty in exchange for peace.

This outweighs the impacts of prosecutions because 1. All prosecution is after the fact. ICC prosecutions allow some people to be violated before they take effect whereas military force can reduce the number of lives taken and 2. The failure of prosecutions is empirically demonstrated, the ICC has issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Al-Bashir but the violence hasn’t stopped yet, only military force can solve.

Second, military force better deters crimes against humanity. The threat of military force induces regimes to immediately change their behavior or face losing their power, especially given that the United States has already demonstrated its willingness to use force. International prosecutions are limited in scope and take time, which allows leaders to think that the ICC cannot touch them.

Additionally, military force deters in cases where the ICC does not have the jurisdiction to interfere. The ICC is powerless to stop nations who have not ratified the Rome Statute, or nations who have but are able to mount sham investigations of suspected criminals, or situations in which the level of atrocities fails to rise to an offense that can be prosecuted or where evidence is lacking. Moreover, these are often the worst violators because regimes engaging in crimes against humanity would be the least likely to enable prosecutions against them. Military force circumvents these barriers.

Third, military force is necessary to enforce ICC mandates. The ICC lacks a standing army and cannot physically bring criminals to trial without external assistance. Currently, other nations have not stepped up to accept the burden of enforcement. Thus, weakening the American military would have the effect of crippling the ICC, meaning that ICC prosecutions won’t even happen.
Thus, in a situation where submission to the ICC would weaken the military, we should not submit.

So… B. American military force is crippled by submission to the ICC.

1. The ability to intervene. The risk of American soldiers being open to prosecution for actions during war makes it difficult for politicians to sanction intervention. Elizabeth Becker gives the empirical warrant:
The Bush administration suspended all American military assistance to 35 countries today because they refused to pledge to give American citizens immunity before the [ICC] International Criminal Court.
The administration warned last year that under a provision of the new American antiterrorism law, any country that became a member of the new court but failed to give exemptions to Americans serving within its borders would lose such aid.
That includes training programs as well as financing of weapons and equipment purchases.
Many of the countries affected, like Colombia and Ecuador, are considered critical to the administration's efforts to bring stability to the Western Hemisphere. Others, like Croatia, are preparing to join NATO and were counting on American help to modernize their armed forces.
The use of force has been necessary to stop violence. Rodman writes :
The reason why the ICC referral has had no impact on "saving lives" in Darfur lies in the problem with the Bosnian analogy. The ICTY's indictments of Mladić and Karadžić did indeed contribute to the curbing ethnic violence by isolating the most virulent ethnic extremists, but only after the war had ended, and that required NATO's use of air power and a range of other coercive measures against Pale and Belgrade. By contrast, when NATO and the UN issued empty threats they were unwilling to enforce, and were reluctant to move beyond neutral peacekeeping and impartial mediation, those under investigation or indictment were hardly marginalized. It was only when the purported commitment to punish criminal behavior was complemented by a determination to stop and prevent it that impunity on the ground ended, and the ICTY was able to play a constructive role in removing criminal spoilers from the political scene.

Even if American fears are unfounded, the presence of these concerns makes intervention politically risky.
Moreover, submission to the ICC makes it seem as if the United States has already done enough to redress crimes against humanity. Politicians want to emphasize the success of their efforts so they will trumpet the ability of the ICC to solve. This decreases the political will to use military force even further.

2. Military strategy. The risk of prosecution cripples military operations. Nash writes,
First, U.S. concern about avoiding such charges could lead to unwise operational constraints. For example, if the military were directed to adopt as operational policy stricter interpretations of “proportionality”, this could reduce the speed, mass, and dominance that have characterized U.S. military operations in the past decade (and lower casualties). Concerns about incidental loss of life could result in even more conservative targeting. Some would call this a positive development, but repeated piecemeal efforts increase the risks to both parties and are usually more harmful in the long run. Returning to the recent Kosovo experience, the slow and limited buildup of NATO's air campaign can explain, in part, the length of the war and the resulting “incidental loss of life”--an unintended consequence of “proportionality.”
Also, the threat of ICC prosecutions benefits the worst violators of human rights. Austin and Kolenc write,

Perhaps the greatest U.S. concern involves the collateral damage that will inevitably result in any violent conflict due to the "fog of war." Asymmetric warriors hiding themselves among the civilian population will often benefit from maximum collateral damage and its accompanying public outcry. Even the bombing of valid targets could be exploited. For instance, in the 2001 coalition attacks in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden charged the United States with a war crime based on the bombing of a mosque by a malfunctioning guided missile. A classic example of asymmetrically exploiting the tragedy of collateral damage occurred during the 1991 Gulf War when the United States used precision guided munitions to destroy the Al Firdos bunker in Baghdad - a high-value target considered to be one of ten secondary leadership bunkers. n194 After the bombing, however, Iraqi sources claimed that hundreds of civilians had been killed in the attack, including over 100 children. n195 Unbeknownst to the United States, Iraq had housed the families of high-ranking civilians above the bunker either to provide them extra safety or to use as human shields. Public outrage against the attack - and charges of war crimes - immediately followed. n197 The United States altered its bombing strategy after this incident to avoid such tragedies for the duration of the war, n198 but the damage could not be undone. Exploitation of this tragedy continued to be a tool of asymmetric "law-fare" as late as 2002 in a lawsuit filed under Belgium's universal jurisdiction laws.

Moreover, trying to avoid ICC prosecutions hurts the military internally. To invoke complementarity, we have to make an authentic attempt to investigate alleged crimes. This creates the impression that officials are second-guessing the decisions of military commanders, which decreases internal morale and makes the military a less appealing option for individual soldiers.

This has two impacts. First, ICC prosecutions give criminal regimes greater operational flexibility during war, given that the rogue states who have not signed Rome or aren’t worried about prosecutions can risk hurting civilians. Second, ICC prosecutions increase civilian casualties during war by prolonging conflict and creating incentives for states to place civilians in harm’s way, knowing that the US will face the consequences.

3. International legitimacy. Submission to the ICC weakens America’s alliances and prevents us from responding to crimes against humanity and terrorism. Austin and Kolencs write,

If the United States were to join the Court and then, for example, fail to comply with a request from the Chief Prosecutor, intense international pressure may be levied attempt to force compliance. Moreover, even unsubstantiated ICC cases against U.S. officials may cause other nations to politically back away from coalitions, handing terrorists a major victory. For instance, if a coalition partner were to deny the United States access to its bases for specific operations in the war on terror, the mission could be seriously hampered. If asymmetric warriors can exploit the ICC to garner international opinion against the United States, they will have gone far in nullifying offensive operations in the war on terror. Sidetracked by coalition-preserving, the United States might take a more defensive posture and minimize potentially offending operations. More important, if nations deny the United States access to foreign bases, overfly rights, or use of their facilities to launch operations, the capability of the United States to conduct an effective war on terror will be impaired.


Clarke K (elims)
My advocacy is that international criminal courts disregard the interests of victims of atrocities as well as the affected societies. This turns victims into bare life lacking political rights and makes it harder to address the root causes of atrocities. Thus, we should allow victims to formulate their own mechanisms of justice.

Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international criminal court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.

A. Links: The AC subordinates the interests of victims and marginalized nations to international institutions.

[---] Their case specifically refers to the ICC. The ICC constructs people as victims to be saved by the international order. Clarke 1 writes:

The Rome Statute has been noted for revolutionizing the ways in which people understand states' responsibility to 'humanity'. As the world's first permanent court with a specific jurisdiction to prosecute individuals who are responsible for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression, the ICC claims personal jurisdiction over all persons living in states that fall under the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute. The ICC aims at ensuring that high-ranking government officials who commit crimes against humanity are apprehended and prosecuted through the action of an international body that works in conjunction with states that have both signed and ratified the Rome Statute. It thus creates a new relationship between international and national forms of justice. No longer embedded in the restrictions of citizenship that make civil rights alone, the new order it establishes assumes that there is a 'natural harmony' of judicial interests between the national and the international that already exists to protect victims. According to this logic, there is no need to introduce additional spheres of justice-making that are not in keeping with juris-political spheres already offered through international and national litigation. However, in this chapter, by exploring the consequences of treating political agents as “victims”, I argue that there is a need to rethink the nature of jurisdictional sovereignty. This is because the jurisdictional claims of the ICC result in the production of a universalizing category of “victims” to be saved by “global” human rights institutions that recasts—and denies—the political agency of victims.

The principle of complementarity only exacerbates the problem. Clarke 2 again:

Paragraph 10 of the preamble of the Rome Statute explicitly declares that the ICC exists in a complementary relation to national criminal jurisdictions, indicating that a case cannot be tried by the ICC if it is being investigated or prosecuted by a state that has jurisdiction over it. But the preamble also identifies the international, rather than the national, as the principle unit for acting out of humanitarian concern. These principles are further detailed in Article 17 of the Rome Statute, which allocates complementary jurisdiction to the ICC over cases of “sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court” while ensuring that national courts retain initial jurisdiction. Thus, complementarity is meant both to represent a nod to the primary of the nation state and to ensure that the standards of international adjudication are used as the ultimate measure of justice.

The ICC thus gives national courts the first chance to try the defendant, but it must be done in a way accepted by the international legal system. Also, the ICC only wants to try cases that affect the international community (e.g., high ranking officials), so it's not truly interested in complete justice for local communities. Moreover, the ICC actively precludes the adoption of other models of justice.

[---] Any international court would remove the autonomy of nations. The international legal system creates pressures on states to change their practices. Clarke 3 writes:

Membership in the international system is the major pressure for compliance with treaty obligations. Cast this way, the continuing dialogue between international officials and non-governmental organizations generates pressure to resolve problems of non-compliance. Chayes and Chayes argue that the new sovereignty no longer “consists of the freedom of states to act independently in their perceived self-interest”; rather, “membership in reasonably good standing makes up the substance of international life”. Contending that in order to be competitive and relevant in the world economy, nation-states must submit to impositions of the international system and in doing so be accepted in a complex web of regulatory agreements, they suggest recasting the language of sovereignty in more complex terms that articulate the growing webs of obligation with that of international membership.

Thus, the international legal system makes it so that nations have no choice but to comply with international standards of justice. American submission to a court would only confirm that nations have to adapt their practices to international standards to be successful.
[---] Their case refers to universal moral principles which the United States should enforce. These reflect Western domination and power relations. Clarke 4 writes:

Through the moral and political force of humanitarianism, these invocations of justice as universal contribute to establishing a new moral economy according to particular human rights principles, always clarifying what is legal and illegal, acceptable and unacceptable—and, as such, participating in maintaining the norms of the good life—within normal spheres of life relations—the building of a home environment free of violence, the possibility of food and economic resources to sustain education and family life. Such conditions also mark membership and belonging to the prestige of the global, which is already in alliance with the geography of rights—the spatialization of universal jurisdiction as a widespread good. However, the nexus of conflict between social actors and institutions represents a domain in which law is mediated by power relations, and as such, is productive of underlying exclusions that underpin the contests over, for example, amnesties versus international adjudication.

Thus, victims are prevented from forming their methods of dealing with atrocities.

B. The Impacts:

[---] International justice converts victims to bare life lacking political rights. Clarke 5 writes:

The state of exception describes the authority to suspend the law in the name of an emergency. In the context of ethnic violence, that emergency might be one in which citizens use paramilitary coups to condemn fellow citizens to the status of 'bare life', using police, army militia, or death squad resources to reduce life to death. The state of exception is also reflected in the power of individuals working through global institutions to manage international justice mechanisms and suspend national-level processes. This is directly relevant to the competition between the ICC and national-level strategies for justice in Uganda, as it relates to the power to decide when and with respect to whom the law does or does not apply. The International Criminal Court relies on states to implement its laws by eliminating national laws that conflict with them. This expectation of international supremacy points to the relative power of states in relation to international courts. Although the 120 states that initially signed the Rome Statute for the ICC participated in the writing of its statute, being central to its development and the passage of amendments, cloaked in the language of the universalism of the ICC are relations of dominance that have brought into being particular norms of juridical justice over others. This is because the conditions for inclusion in the International Criminal Court [ICC] already make particular presumptions about the supremacy of international law over quasi-judicial mechanisms. During the United Nations Assembly of State Party meetings and the UN-based General Assembly in which the provisions of the Rome Statute were established, [the] politically weak states are not always in positions to overpower stronger states. As such, the relations between different nation-states and international institutions resemble contests over the power of authority—the decision to claim universal jurisdiction and form alliances with international institutions, or to implement amnesty laws and defer to state authority.

This turns all affirmative solvency because it proves that powerful nations will merely game the system to protect their own injustices. The rules of an international court would only entrench their power and legitimize it.

What's more, the victims themselves are locked out of the process. Clarke 6 again:

Jurisdictional arrangements contribute to the creation of categories and relations between persons, and therefore, through legal and political processes, law contributes to inequalities within and outside of the legal realm. The international criminal law regime reproduces a relation of exclusion in which these various institutions for the production of justice serve as conduits for the normative category of victim and perpetrator. According to this position, victims are represented through the jurisdictional claims of the ICC as a category of individual to be saved by global human rights institutions. This process, in which international organizations take on concerns on behalf of victims for the purposes of humanitarianism, reflects the limits of international cooperation, highlighting the relegation of victims' agency to outside of the political sphere. For in the local realm, victims are included and central to reconciliation. However, in the international realm it is through their very exclusion as political agents that they are included in victims' protection and compensation programs. They are included in the international political arena by virtue of their experience as dispossessed agents.

Either of these arguments is sufficient to negate because the affirmative case strips individuals of political agency. Any conception of morality has to treat individuals as humans with the ability to formulate their own ideas about ethics. Instead, affirming relegates the already-dehumanized to an equally-poor status.

This conversion of subjects to bare life is the first step towards genocide. Agamben writes:

In both contexts the particular status of the Versuchspersonen (human guinea pigs) was decisive; they were persons sentenced to death or detained in a camp, the entry into which meant the definitive exclusion from the political community. Precisely because they were lacking almost all the rights and expectations that we customarily attribute to human existence, and yet were still biologically alive, they came to be situated in a limit zone between life and death, inside and outside, in which they were no longer anything but bare life. Those who are sentenced to death and those who dwelt in the camps are thus in some way unconsciously assimilated to homines sacres, to a life that may be killed without the commission of homicide. Like the fence of the camp, the interval between death sentence and execution delimits an extratemporal and extraterritorial threshold in which the human body is separated from its normal political status and abandoned, in a state of exception, to the most extreme misfortunes.

The state of exception is thus the root cause of the problems that the ICC is trying to solve (namely, crimes against humanity). But, since the ICC decides when and to whom the law applies, it is counter-productive in its goals by perpetuating the conditions necessary for genocide to happen in the first place. Thus, the affirmative case terminates in the worst possible impact under any conception of morality; the conversion of individuals to bare life and then their elimination.

[---] International justice perpetuates conflict and crimes against humanity. International criminal law stops conflict-resolving measures, increasing the cost on the locals. Drumbl writes:

Many bottom-up transitional justice movements invoke sanctions such as apologies, shaming, sharing the truth, lustration, and reparations; and often are willing to procure these by offering amnesties to perpetrators. This is the case even though such modalities are often at odds with, and largely squeezed out by, the operation of the international criminal law paradigm. International criminal law responds poorly to the preferences of local populations when such preferences conflict with its normative worldview. This leaves local populations with little recourse but to articulate these preferences outside of and at times in resistance to top-down internationalist pressures and, thereby, expend considerable resources and effort at a particularly vulnerable time in mediating with international legal regimes.

Thus, international justice only makes it harder to solve back the impacts of atrocities. This impact is empirically verified. When the ICC intervened in Uganda, it undermined peace talks between the government and the LRA. Adam Branch writes:

Instead, critics have argued that the ICC's intervention will in fact make the war more difficult to resolve. First, arrest warrants have removed the LRA command's incentive to leave the bush, which has made peace talks difficult, if not impossible. In the words of Father Carlos Rodriguez of the Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative, "Obviously, nobody can convince the leaders of a rebel movement to come to the negotiating table and at the same time tell them that they will appear in courts to be prosecuted." (19) The unsealing of the arrest warrants prompted head mediator Betty Bigombe to abandon the peace process; (20) and while a new set of talks are under way in Juba, their outcome is uncertain. In fact, one of the most significant obstacles to their success appears to be the ICC arrest warrants, which have kept the LRA leadership from attending out of fear of arrest. For its part, the Ugandan government has in the past failed to follow through with peace negotiations, several times sabotaging talks at key moments.
Second, the warrants eviscerate the Ugandan Amnesty Act of 2000. The broad understanding in Acholiland that the war will not end until the LRA leadership abandons the rebellion provided the impetus behind the mobilization for the Amnesty Act, which, at the insistence of Acholi civil society organizations, granted a general amnesty to the LRA, including its top commanders. (21) ICC arrest warrants fly in the face of the popular demand for general amnesty, rendering the act inapplicable to the very people to whom it most needs to be applied for peace to arrive. The ICC has dismissed the Amnesty Act: "In a bid to encourage members of the LRA to return to normal life, the Ugandan authorities have enacted an amnesty law. President Museveni has indicated to the Prosecutor his intention to amend this amnesty so as to exclude the leadership of the LRA, ensuring that those bearing the greatest responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda are brought to justice." (22) The ICC irresponsibly frames the Amnesty Act not as the product of mobilization by the Acholi trying to find peace and duly promulgated by the Ugandan Parliament, but as a girl from the Ugandan executive, to be withdrawn by President Museveni at his convenience.

Winning a link and an impact is sufficient to negate because it proves that affirming does more bad then good, i.e. that it would be better to do nothing than submit. What’s more, the resolution is merely a statement that the United States ought to do something and does not proscribe an action for the negative to defend. Thus, I do not need an alternative. To force the negative to defend an alternative would be to impose burdens not mandated by the resolutional text which is always unpredictable and ex post facto.
However, even if any system would cause the impacts of the negative case, criticism itself can be a valid alternative. Criticism is the first step towards creating beneficial new practices rather than merely repeating our own errors because we have no better system. This is especially true given that the NC rejects the idea that victims are powerless and incapable of determining their own futures, which has historically locked them out of the international order.

With that said…

C. The alternative is to allow victims to create their own practices. The negative does not defend one specific model for how victims should seek justice because those systems are always context-dependent and based on local traditions. The affirmative can never defend this as an alternative because my argument is that we should reject the idea of a one size fits all, internationally imposed means of justice, and also because it would require a massive shift from the text of the 1AC.

Traditional mechanisms return autonomy to the victims. Clarke 7 writes:

Of late in Uganda, victims, who have been otherwise excluded from judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings, are now through NGOs and other governmental initiatives central players in the justice-making process. This inclusion of victims has taken shape as a bid toward reconciliation and new paths toward traditional justice. In this regard, chiefs and townspeople use the language of 'rights' and 'forgiveness' and, according to Norbert Mao, chairman of the northern Uganda's Gulu district at the heart of the conflict, insist that 'justice does not necessarily mean punishment', thereby 'aiming for a higher target of seeking a peaceful and reconciled society in which we can pursue our own ancient reconciled society in which we can pursue our own ancient reconciliation rituals to end one of Africa's longest wars'. This leans me to end this chapter with a section highlighting that Uganda no longer requires that victims exist as 'bare life'. To the contrary, victims are constantly enmeshed in relational connections that leave them situationally, but never a-contextually, vulnerable. Unlike the people treated as “bare life” victims by the ICC, the Ugandan amnesty approach allows victims and perpetrators to engage in rituals of reconciliation that reproduce themselves as political beings.

The alternative solves the entirety of the 1AC with regards to punishing, redressing, and punishing crimes against humanity. Clarke 8 concludes:
A range of new national punishment approaches have combined both retributive justice models (in which the punishment imposed is seen as repayment or revenge for the offense committed) and rehabilitation models (in which society assists that accused in changing his/her behaviour) with forms of restorative justice which emphasize the harm done to persons and relationships rather than the violations of the law. The latter, by focusing on both the victims of crime as well as the offenders, as with 'traditional' justice mechanisms in Uganda, highlight the possibility of enabling the offender to recognize the injustice he or she has committed and participate in negotiating restoration by emphasizing the need for community involvement in addressing criminal behavior. Such notions of restorative justice as practiced in the west have been shaped by Christian principles of personal salvation and peacemaking, forgiveness and healing. They became secularized in the 1980s and 1990s and have been incorporated in judiciaries in the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe, as well as in a range of non-secular legal contexts, such as that of Uganda in which traditional justice is being used in the midst of a failed justice system. My point here is not that only such restorative justice mechanisms are viable in contexts in which civil war and ethnic hatred have led to the decimation of communities, but that the choice of rebuilding and supporting Uganda's judiciary alongside its various traditional restorative justice mechanisms as viable strategies for peace should be considered.

Clarke burden NC (prelims)
I negate and value morality since the resolution questions what the US ought to do. At its most fundamental level, morality requires that respect human agency for three reasons.
First, agency is what separates humans from inanimate objects. The ability to discern and rationalize our choices is what makes us uniquely human, so that aspect of our lives must be respected. Otherwise, morality would become self-defeating in that it would no longer respect those it is intended to protect.
Second, respect for agency is a prerequisite to any conception of morality. That is, if humans did not have agency, then morality would not exist because we would not be able to formulate our own ideas about ethics. Thus, if morality were to ascribe no value to agency, then there would simultaneously be no value to that conception offered.
Third, if morality were to allow society to strip the autonomy of even a small group of people, then ethics would be undesirable as we would be able to justify the worst atrocities imaginable. Society could treat those people as if they were dispensable objects whose concerns can legitimately be excluded, justifying the horrors of slavery and the holocaust.
Thus, the affirmative has the burden to prove that US submission to the ICC respects people's agency.
I contend that affirming doesn't meet the burden.
The ICC constructs people as victims to be saved by the international order. Clarke 1 writes:
The Rome Statute has been noted for revolutionizing the ways in which people understand states' responsibility to 'humanity'. As the world's first permanent court with a specific jurisdiction to prosecute individuals who are responsible for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression, the ICC claims personal jurisdiction over all persons living in states that fall under the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute. The ICC aims at ensuring that high-ranking government officials who commit crimes against humanity are apprehended and prosecuted through the action of an international body that works in conjunction with states that have both signed and ratified the Rome Statute. It thus creates a new relationship between international and national forms of justice. No longer embedded in the restrictions of citizenship that make civil rights alone, the new order it establishes assumes that there is a 'natural harmony' of judicial interests between the national and the international that already exists to protect victims. According to this logic, there is no need to introduce additional spheres of justice-making that are not in keeping with juris-political spheres already offered through international and national litigation. However, in this chapter, by exploring the consequences of treating political agents as “victims”, I argue that there is a need to rethink the nature of jurisdictional sovereignty. This is because the jurisdictional claims of the ICC result in the production of a universalizing category of “victims” to be saved by “global” human rights institutions that recasts—and denies—the political agency of victims.
Thus, the ICC disregards the interests of victims of atrocities as well as unique needs of the society as a whole. The first impact is that the ICC ought to be rejected because it eviscerates the agency of the victim by locking them out of the process. Clarke 2 writes:
Jurisdictional arrangements contribute to the creation of categories and relations between persons, and therefore, through legal and political processes, law contributes to inequalities within and outside of the legal realm. The international criminal law regime reproduces a relation of exclusion in which these various institutions for the production of justice serve as conduits for the normative category of victim and perpetrator. According to this position, victims are represented through the jurisdictional claims of the ICC as a category of individual to be saved by global human rights institutions. This process, in which international organizations take on concerns on behalf of victims for the purposes of humanitarianism, reflects the limits of international cooperation, highlighting the relegation of victims' agency to outside of the political sphere. For in the local realm, victims are included and central to reconciliation. However, in the international realm it is through their very exclusion as political agents that they are included in victims' protection and compensation programs. They are included in the international political arena by virtue of their experience as dispossessed agents.
The second impact is that by ignoring the desires of local governments, the ICC exacerbates conflict, which harms the agency of current and future victims. This is empirically verified in Uganda where the ICC undermined peace talks between the government and the LRA. Branch concludes:
Instead, critics have argued that the ICC's intervention will in fact make the war more difficult to resolve. First, arrest warrants have removed the LRA command's incentive to leave the bush, which has made peace talks difficult, if not impossible. In the words of Father Carlos Rodriguez of the Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative, "Obviously, nobody can convince the leaders of a rebel movement to come to the negotiating table and at the same time tell them that they will appear in courts to be prosecuted." (19) The unsealing of the arrest warrants prompted head mediator Betty Bigombe to abandon the peace process; (20) and while a new set of talks are under way in Juba, their outcome is uncertain. In fact, one of the most significant obstacles to their success appears to be the ICC arrest warrants, which have kept the LRA leadership from attending out of fear of arrest. For its part, the Ugandan government has in the past failed to follow through with peace negotiations, several times sabotaging talks at key moments.
Second, the warrants eviscerate the Ugandan Amnesty Act of 2000. The broad understanding in Acholiland that the war will not end until the LRA leadership abandons the rebellion provided the impetus behind the mobilization for the Amnesty Act, which, at the insistence of Acholi civil society organizations, granted a general amnesty to the LRA, including its top commanders. (21) ICC arrest warrants fly in the face of the popular demand for general amnesty, rendering the act inapplicable to the very people to whom it most needs to be applied for peace to arrive. The ICC has dismissed the Amnesty Act: "In a bid to encourage members of the LRA to return to normal life, the Ugandan authorities have enacted an amnesty law. President Museveni has indicated to the Prosecutor his intention to amend this amnesty so as to exclude the leadership of the LRA, ensuring that those bearing the greatest responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda are brought to justice." (22) The ICC irresponsibly frames the Amnesty Act not as the product of mobilization by the Acholi trying to find peace and duly promulgated by the Ugandan Parliament, but as a girl from the Ugandan executive, to be withdrawn by President Museveni at his convenience.
(This also link turns the ac...)

Constitutionality NC (prelims)
I negate and value morality, as the resolution questions how the US ought to act. The resolutional action must be evaluated via the constitution.
First, for morality to function as a rule for ethical conduct, it must be codified into common law. This best ensures that the limitations on individuals and government are clear, concretely giving content to the due of citizens.
Second, the constitution is the fundamental check against oppressive government in the United States. Rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the exclusionary rule, trial by jury, et cetera afford US citizens basic liberties and protections that the US was contractually founded on. If a single violation of the constitution is deemed justified, then it loses its protective force since soon thereafter, another violation and then another can follow.
Third, ought implies can as we would not say that an agent has an obligation to do something that is impossible. Morality is meant to guide action, so it would be counter-productive and unreasonable to require someone to do something they can't do. The US government cannot violate the constitution, even in the international arena, as the Supreme Court would strike it down.
Thus, the standard is constitutionality.
Ethics and constitutionality are not at odds since it is nonsensical to claim that the majority of citizens would support laws that are inconsistent with their personal beliefs. Indeed, ethics are inherently subjective and perpetually changing in the same manner as the constitution. Constitutionality is merely the amalgamation of ethical ideologies of the US' populace, best adhering to its function as a democratic society.
I contend that the ICC violates the constitution. Kristafer Ailslieger
 writes:
Beyond the general threat to national sovereignty, the Rome Treaty and the ICC directly conflict with the United States Constitution. The ICC's supranational jurisdiction cannot be reconciled with the judicial system created by the Constitution. The vague and ambiguous crimes that the ICC would prosecute could not pass constitutional scrutiny. The pardon power of the President could be trumped by the ICC. And there are no provisions in the Rome Treaty for many of the protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Because the Rome Treaty allows for no reservations or modifications by states signing it, the United States cannot become a party to the treaty. Within the United States, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Countless judicial decisions have further made it clear that the United States cannot enter into a treaty that is in violation with or contravenes any provision of the Constitution.