Treaty ratification procedure
The procedure by which treaties become "the supreme law of the land" is extremely detailed and somewhat complicated. The outline steps involved in treaty ratification are familiar to all students of American government. To declare that an international contract is negotiated under the supervision of the State Department, that it is forwarded then to the President to be transmitted to the Senate where it is referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, that the agreement is reported back with recommendations and accepted by the Senate, that the compact is then returned to the President for ratification, and that the treaty is proclaimed by the Executive after exchange of ratification is mere recitation. Such a synopsis of procedure leaves unanswered many incidental and intricate questions that might upon occasion assume first-rate importance. In the following pages some of the heretofore unpublished detailed steps in treaty ratification will be reviewed, based upon the result of numerous and exhaustive interviews with officials in the State Department, the Executive Mansion, and the Senate.