Iran, the South Dakota legislature, and genuflecting to Obama.

Interesting post by Jon Ellis at the Argus over the weekend which talks about how the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration (that’s garnered so much disappointment over bowing down to Iran) is going to have an effect on South Dakota law:

Under the plan, the United States would “take appropriate steps” to ensure that state and local governments also lifted any sanctions on Iran. Federal officials would “actively encourage” state and local officials to reflect the change in policy to Iran.


Asked how he would react if he were still governor and the federal government asked South Dakota to remove its sanctions, Rounds said: “Without using any four-letter words, I would say, ‘Sue me.'”

Gov. Dennis Daugaard would take a less combative approach.

Read it here.

As I understand it, the South Dakota bill says that the divestment stays in effect until Iran is removed from the U.S. Department of Defense list of states that sponsor terrorism. Iran is still listed as the leading state sponsor of terrorism…  and deal or no deal, Obama can’t hide the fact that Iran has contributed to the deaths of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama might try to take Iran off the list or just get rid of the list, but either way- the will of the people and our state legislature (and many other state legislatures) are being dismissed by the Obama administration.

The Ellis story had what I would consider “the money quote” coming from one of the Democrat sponsors of the measure,  Peggy Gibson of Huron:

Rep. Peggy Gibson, a Huron Democrat who also helped sponsor the 2010, said she would probably vote to overturn it if asked, albeit reluctantly.

“I would probably support the Obama administration, even though I don’t like it,” she said.

Read it here.

Given that South Dakota is often noted as being the state where Obama polls the lowest, would you consider a Democrat legislator genuflecting and automatically giving deference and support to Obama to be a wise thing, especially with the much maligned Iran agreement?

11 thoughts on “Iran, the South Dakota legislature, and genuflecting to Obama.”

  1. It is so ironic. Lederman had to pass that legislation over the objections and excused of the Rounds administration and GOP “leadership.” So deceptive.

    1. Kind of like Rounds saying he was going to get rid of the Dept. of Education as a US Senator. Politics and empty posturing as usual.

  2. Does the state of South Dakota have any sactions in place right now against Iran? Do any municipal governments in SD currently sanction Iran? Surely the town of Buffalo must have a litany of disagreements with Tehran and has several punitive and severe sanctions in place.

  3. The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution explicitly applies to treaties, so I am unsure how the state law wouldn’t be preempted here.

  4. Dicta, the Iran agreement is not a treaty. By definition under the US Constitution is an agreement between nations which is approved by the US Senate. This agreement can only be vetoed by Congress if they can over-ride a veto by the President. More than semantics, it is a clear distinction.

    Thus, I’m not sure the issue is as clear as you suggest.

  5. This is true, but the argument re: the treaty issue (borrowing from someone else) goes something like this:

    The Senate has the constitutional prerogative to ratify treaties (the Senate technically approves a resolution of ratification) with a two-thirds majority and that senators forfeited their role in the process by passing the Iran review bill.

    Under that bill, just 34 votes will be needed to uphold a presidential veto of a disapproval resolution, just more than half of the 67 needed to ratify a treaty.

    If you accept this argument as true (and you may not), then the treaty wins. Of course, the White House is avoiding calling it a treaty like a plague, because if they do, then BAM, Congress is back in the driver’s seat.

    And you were right that it’s not as simple as I first said. Whether or not an agreement that has international law implications and places obligations on the US is automatically a treaty isn’t exactly settled law, and if it isn’t, it’s unclear what that means for states with established laws that conflict with these “treaties” or whatever you’d like to call them. So yeah, I’ll walk back my initial statement a bit.

    1. Dicta—

      Not only do you need to “walk back” your claims,; you need to run to a complete retraction. (as is typical of most of your statements).

      Obama’s deal with Iran is an EXECUTIVE AGREEMENT, not a treaty of any kind.


    2. ” Of course, the White House is avoiding calling it a treaty like a plague, because if they do, then BAM, Congress is back in the driver’s seat. ”

      No. No,. and NO.

      If Obama calls it a “treaty”, then the SENATE must approve of it with a 2/3rds majority,. not “Congress”.

      This is basic civics folks!

  6. Dicta,

    You are correct that the President did not negotiate a Treaty (and thus not calling it as such). At the same time, because it isn’t a treaty, it can be over-turned. It is my understanding that a treaty binds the nation for the entire term. An agreement like this can be abrogated via a future executive order or passage of a law by Congress subsequently signed by the President.

    Here is the most interesting legal/Constitutional question about this. Most everything in the agreement, the President has authority to negotiate and make legal mostly via certain both Commander-in-Chief powers. However, most glaring is there is existing law which placed conditions on relaxing of economic sanctions and one of the most prominent is a declaration by the President with verified evidence Iran is no longer sponsoring terrorism (which he has neither claimed or submitted the requisite certifications).

    In short, even if the Agreement isn’t vetoed by Congress, there may be a legal recourse to the Supreme Court on whether the President has acted in accord with legal authority under the law.

  7. So is this like ObamaCare not being a tax until SCOTUS say so? Just more Washington speak to circumvent that Constitutional process. Our government is so dysfunctional!

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