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The United States has failed to eliminate racial discrimination in the decades since ratifying the international human rights treaty that prohibits it. To its credit, the Biden Administration has attempted to center the fight for racial equity in the work of the executive branch. But President Biden’s executive orders and agency action plans on racial justice omit any reference to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, despite the duties and standards it establishes in the fight to end pervasive racism. As President Biden enters the final two years of his term, facing a legislature hamstrung by partisan divide, the time is ripe for decisive executive action to implement the treaty. Writing against a background of governmental and scholarly neglect of the duty to implement even non-self-executing human rights treaties, this Essay proposes several novel strategies the Administration could pursue. Decisive action on racial justice that honors United States treaty obligations would set an important precedent and leverage the utility of international standards for remedying human rights violations in the United States.

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