Reservations, Understandings, Declarations, and Other Conditions to Treaties [September 7, 2022]   [open pdf - 523KB]

From the Document: "Article II, Section 2, clause 2, of the U.S. Constitution (the Treaty Clause) permits the President 'by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur[.]' The Senate, as part of its constitutional role in the treaty-making process, may condition its advice and consent on reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs). These RUDs guide treaties' content, effect, interpretation, and implementation. Historical practice suggests that, when drafting the Treaty Clause, the Framers of the Constitution intended 'advice' and 'consent' to be separate steps in the treaty-making process. Under this interpretation, the President would consult the Senate during treaty negotiations and seek its advice before asking for its final consent when negotiations ended. Since the early years of President George Washington's Administration, however, Presidents have not formally sought the Senate's advice during treaty negotiations. Instead, the Senate has maintained an aspect of its advice function by using RUDs to influence treaties' terms and implementation. [...] RUDs must be consistent with the Constitution, and they cannot infringe on individual rights or exercise a power the Constitution assigns exclusively to another branch of government."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF12208
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
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