Corker’s bill turns the Constitution upside down

August 27, 2015
Matt Kokkonen

Matt Kokkonen


The Constitution of the United States of America was adopted 13 years after the Declaration of Independence of 1776. It established the fundamental law of our country.

Let us consider Article ll, Section 2 which defines the requirement of the President for Senate approval for treaties he wishes to make: “He shall have Power, by, and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”

The Iran Treaty cannot be the law of the land until the Senate has approved it by a 2/3 majority. However, in a most sleazy maneuver, Republican Senator Corker introduced a bill which circumvents this clear and unambiguous constitutional mandate regarding Obama’s Iran treaty. Corker’s bill attempts to highjack the constitutional treaty provision by making it a regular senate bill which is to be voted on by Congress.

Under this bill, if Congress votes it down, the president can simply veto it and then Congress has to override his veto by a 2/3 majority. This is impossible at least in the Senate.

Under the Constitution the President needs a 2/3 majority vote from the Senate to pass the Iran treaty but now Congress needs a 2/3 majority to stop the president from passing the Iran treaty.

Our Constitution just got turned upside down. This is the most underhanded and egregious usurpation of our constitutional protections against a monarch getting us entangled in this Iran treaty. America just got shafted.

Senate Majority Leader Republican McConnell is just as complicit by permitting this atrocious Corker bill undermining our constitution to even be brought up in the Senate. Similarly, Speaker of the House, Republican Boehner got involved and took up the bill in the House of Representatives. Why?

The Iran treaty itself is dangerous and stinks to high heavens with all of its secret deals. Did we not learn anything from Nancy Pelosi when she claimed that we had to pass the Obamacare legislation to find out what is in it?

Obama just got fast track authority with the 1000 pages of Trade Promotion Authority and Trans- Pacific Partnership bills which permitted members of Congress to only view sections of it for limited periods of time in the basement, without taking notes, after giving up their cell phones and agreeing not to disclose anything about it. Adolf Hitler also requested absolute power, got it and used it with horrible results. Did we not learn from these?

Similarly, the Corker bill fails to give the details of his Iran bill. Congress needs to stop playing Americans for fools.

Secretary of State John Kerry has clarified the administration’s unconstitutional perspective on this treaty. He stated that since it is impossible to get a treaty passed, he does not regard the treaty a treaty at all and therefore needs to circumvent the constitutionally required senate vote. He therefore circumvented the constitutionally required 2/3 passing vote by the Senate by engaging senator Corker to introduce the treaty as a regular congressional bill, the Corker bill. But, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck. It is impossible to re-define reality and Congress needs to stop playing Americans for fools.

Therefore, regardless of the Corker bill, the US Senate needs to stop, get a spine, and take a vote on Obama’s Iran treaty just as the Constitution requires. If the treaty gets 2/3 approval, it passes. If not, the treaty is dead and gone. The Corker bill is insidious and superfluous.

Wake up, America. Do not let our Constitution be high jacked. Our Senators and Representatives and President are not above our Constitution.

In 1994, Matt Kokkonen won a unanimous US Supreme Court decision in his case for state versus federal jurisdictional rights. His case affirmed the 10th Amendment states’ rights. Kokkonen can be contacted at (805) 541-1880.



  1. mikeGB says:

    When a country imposes sanctions on another country, it is an act of war. It may not seem like it, but economic wars are often fought before the physical ones. Sanctions should not be taken so lightly. Under a despotic or dictatorial regime, the pain of the sanctions always lands heaviest on the general population. Just look at Cuba, Japan (before Pearl Harbor), Iraq post Operation Desert Storm, Russia, and countless other countries. Sanctions often help cement the position of the despots because the people know another country is responsible for their suffering.

    While I dislike most of the things our current president has done, I think its great that we want to move towards trade and more friendly relations. Countries with economic dependencies and benefits are much less likely to go to war with each other.

    No treaty is going to fully satisfy all parties, because nobody is going to get everything they want. I appreciate that this treaty is focused and didn’t try to be sweeping. You have to start somewhere. Maybe we can get some peace out of this.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. Matt K says:

    Horse pupu from you, davidbroadwater..
    Since the adversarial party, Iran, was not asked for concurrence on the sanctions, they were one sided. Even though other countries joined in the sanctions with the US, the sanctions were one-sided. They were imposed on Iran against Iran and without Iran’s agreement. When did Iran agree to the sanctions? They never did. Hence the one sidedness.

    All of your favorite politicians, including John Kerry and Hillary Clinton reviewed the exact military intelligence given to Bush and concluded that Hussein had bad weapons in Iraq that needed to be removed. Both Hillary and John spoke most eloquently on the Senate floor demanding military action against that evil regime.

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  3. Kaiser Bill says:

    Can we stop worrying about Iran?

    Iran is not a threat to the United States.

    Iran is a threat to Israel.

    If people want to defend Israel, go to Israel. Stop using America to fight Israel’s battles.

    (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
  4. SLOBIRD says:

    Obama made it quite clear this was not a “Treaty”, and to quote, him, “he would never get it thru the Congress as a treaty”. He was blantant and upfront about this deceitful act. This is just another slime action of our President deceiving people. Likes see, Russia (friend of Iran wanting all the oil they have stored on ships and land), China (friend of Iran and will be happy to take the money Russia gives Iran for happy and sell Iran weapons for ISIS), France and United Kingdom in need of fuel from Russia this winter at a cheap rate since they control it), and Germany who are struggling financially since bailing out Greece. They are all greasing each other’s hand!

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  5. davidbroadwater says:

    Kokkenen’s assertions are false and his rank hypocrisy is showing:
    Matt K says:
    08/27/2015 at 5:06 pm
    “Sanctions by the US are one sided, executed by the US. The Iran issue is a treaty between the US and Iran.”
    Matt K says:
    08/27/2015 at 5:38 pm
    “Obama is in fact trying to make a treaty between the US and Iran… ”
    “… constitution prohibits him from doing exactly what he is attempting to do with Iran right now.”
    The Iran sanctions are NOT “one sided”. They’ve been enacted by six countries and the European Union. The Iran issue is NOT a “treaty between the US and Iran”, and Obama is NOT “trying to make a treaty between the US and Iran”. The US Constitution does NOT prohibit any President from issuing such an executive action. The Iran nuclear deal is NOT a treaty.
    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an agreement between the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany) and the European Union.
    Across the nation, many opponents of the Iran nuclear deal turn out to have been adamant supporters of the Bush/Cheney 2003 unconstitutional and illegal invasion of Iraq. The same is true of Mr. Kokkonen, who repeatedly counter-protested our demonstrations against that catastrophe in 2002 and 2003 carrying huge signs blaring support for that blatant violation of the US Constitution and international law.
    Pedaling falsehoods back then for war and pedaling falsehoods now against a chance for peace, Kokkonen’s attempt to appear as an ardent defender of the rule of law is an abject sham.
    David Broadwater

    (0) 14 Total Votes - 7 up - 7 down
    • r0y says:

      Wow, you really think that sanctions are NOT one-sided? So this means that Iran agreed to them? Or just because more than one country was on one (that’s less than 2) side, they are no longer one-sided? Good grief.

      The JCPOA is not just an agreement between the “P5+1” and the EU, it is between them AND Iran; hence, the reason many call it a treaty. Whether it is a treaty or not, is entirely based upon the language and requirements – that is, if they SAY it is a treaty, it will be a treaty. Or if the language reads, “you do this and we’ll that” – like a peace treaty (you stop fighting, and we’ll stop fighting). So, what we really need to know is, does this document call for Iran to do something so that we (US / EU) will do something? It does, but so do a lot of trade agreements, and political non-binding agreements. It is a sticky thing. In the end, this SHOULD NOT be a treaty, nor have the ramifications of one for either side, in my opinion.

      Finally, you bring up the “illegal invasion” tripe. Two things on that: 1) we KNOW he had WMD’s because WE SOLD THEM TO HIM. Not the brightest mark on our record, but we knew he had them before “we knew” he had them. 2) If the US goes into a country uninvited, it is an illegal invasion, but if millions cross our southern border uninvited, it is NOT an illegal invasion?

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down

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