Of Federalism, Human Rights, and the Holland Caveat: Congressional Power to Iplement Treaties

This Article explores whether the Rehnquist Court’s federalism doctrine, as elaborated during this last decade, should or ought to extend to the domestication of discrete provisions of ratified human rights treaties. It explores this question by examining the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Covenant) and by considering the civil remedy provision of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as potential implementing legislation for the equality provisions of the Covenant. In the context of this inquiry, the discussion engages federalism, as developed by the current Court, on its own terms. That is, I do not seek here to defend it or reject it. It seeks to refocus the broader debate to the specific context of the VAWA and the ICCPR.