Manuscript Collections - Bricker Amendment Collection

March 13, 2020

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1 linear foot, 10 linear inches (4 manuscript boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


The Bricker Amendment is the name of a series of proposed amendments to the Constitution considered by the Senate in the 1950s designed to limit the scope and ratification of treaties and executive agreements entered into by the United States. They are named for their sponsor, Republican Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio.

Although Bricker first introduced an amendment in 1951, the best known version was considered by the Senate in 1953–1954. It declared that no treaty could be made by the United States that conflicted with the Constitution, would not require passage of enabling legislation through Congress, and limited the president's power to enter into executive agreements with foreign powers.

Bricker's proposal was a source of conflict between the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Old Right faction of conservative Republican senators. The Bricker Amendment was blocked by the intervention of Eisenhower and failed in the Senate by one vote in 1954. Three years later the Supreme Court ruled in Reid v. Covert that the Bill of Rights cannot be abrogated by agreements with foreign powers and that such agreements cannot extend the powers of Congress beyond those permitted by the Constitution.


The Bricker Amendment Collection contains reports, memoranda, pamphlets, speeches, hearings, notes, statements, and clippings regarding the public debate on the amendment.


Box      Contents

1          Congressional Record Account of the Bricker Amendment – Indexed, 1953‑Feb 1954
            Constitutional Amendment ‑ Treaty Powers and Executive Agreements – Articles and
                     Data, 1952‑1954
            The Eight Treaties, 1953
            Hearings – Treaties and Executive Agreements, Apr 27‑May 12, 1955
            Memorandum – Treaties and Executive Agreements, June 19, 1952

2          Notes – Proposed Constitutional Amendment, 1952‑1955
            Proceedings – Committee on International Law and Federal Legislation, Oct 9, 1952
            Reports, 1952‑1956

3          Statements and Speeches A – H (2 vols, bound)

4          Statements and Speeches I – Z (bound)
            Statements and Speeches C – O (unbound)