Document Type


Publication Title

Minnesota Law Review

Publication Date



This Article investigates the constitutional -basis for objections to United States participation in important international organizations like the WTO and the UN. The somewhat surprising conclusion is that the inchoate rage of the Seattle protestors has greater constitutional substance than most academic commentators would like to admit. Some international organizations have begun to acquire real powers from the federal government, and the future growth of international organizations is likely to support this trend. Moreover, the nature of these transfers raises serious constitutional doubts that the currently accepted view of constitutional interpretation cannot adequately address.

This Article proposes a framework for analyzing the constitutional issues raised by relationships between the United States and international organizations. The constitutional issues implicated in these relationships are most usefully understood as international delegations. An international delegation is the transfer of constitutionally assigned federal powers-treaty-making, legislative, executive, and judicial powers-to an international organization. This Article evaluates the propriety of these delegations by incorporating analysis from existing commentary on the constitutional framework for separation of powers and federalism. On the other hand, it also recognizes that international organizations pose special constitutional problems that not even traditional modes of constitutional analysis can easily resolve.