A Duke University law professor says the Senate should set carefully written implementation rules for a disability rights pact, to keep Congress from using the treaty to meddle in fields normally handled by the states.
The professor, Curtis Bradley, said the Senate should develop an implementation statement, or “reservation,” that keeps Congress from using the treaty as a reason to get involved with fields normally handled by the states.
The Senate has added similar reservations when it has approved other agreements, Bradley said.
Bradley made that case Thursday at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the United Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
One part of the pact, Article 25(e), seems to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in the area of life insurance and health insurance.
Debate about Senate ratification of the pact has focused mainly on how the treaty could affect state rules in areas such as education and housing.
Insurance groups have not been active in public efforts to oppose the pact, and some have said that Obama administration “reservations,” implementation rules, would keep the Article 25(e) insurance rules from interfering with U.S. insurance underwriting.
The existing reservations state that the administration would not be required to take action against states as a result of the disability convention, Bradley said.