Senate rejects United Nations disability treaty

The U.S. Senate voted against ratification of a United Nations treaty, opposed by conservatives, which would have codified international standards for the treatment of disabled persons.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities would have bound the U.S. to follow international laws establishing accommodations for the disabled.

But the treaty ended up several votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority necessary for ratification. The vote was 61-38, with all Democrats and eight Republicans voting in favor.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who voted against the treaty, said that its passage would have been a threat to U.S. sovereignty.

“Unelected, foreign bureaucrats, not parents, would decide what is in the best interests of the disabled child, even in the home,” Inhofe said through a spokesperson, in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “These are just some of the reasons why the Senate was right to reject yet another power-grab effort by the UN.”

Existing U.S. law already provides robust protection for disabled persons, Inhofe said.

“America leads the world in how those with disabilities are treated,” he said. “Because of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we don’t need UN bureaucrats dictating our nation’s laws in the name of worldwide application.”

The rejection of the treaty is a win for conservatives, who pressured some Republican senators to vote against it. Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions received more than 1,000 letters and emails from people who wanted it voted down, according to ParentalRights.org.

“We are grateful to these brave senators who stood firm to protect parental rights and American self-government even in the face of a loud and emotional plea from those who favored the treaty,” wrote Michael Ramey, director of communications for ParentalRights.org, in an email to The DCNF.

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