This was supposed to be the year the U.S. Senate finally ratified the age-old Law of the Sea Treaty. That was apparently enough motivation for conservatives to rally the grassroots and sink the treaty once again.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) announced that he had secured commitments from 34 senators to oppose LOST, ensuring it would not be ratified by the Senate this year. Because it requires 67 votes for the Senate to approve treaties, only 34 votes are needed block them.

The 34 senators include:

  1. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
  2. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
  3. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  4. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
  5. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
  6. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
  7. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
  8. Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC)
  9. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  10. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
  11. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
  12. Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID)
  13. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
  14. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
  15. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  16. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  17. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
  18. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
  19. Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
  20. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
  21. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
  22. Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)
  23. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)
  24. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
  25. Sen. Mark Rubio (R-FL)
  26. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
  27. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
  28. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
  29. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
  30. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  31. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
  32. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
  33. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
  34. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

The treaty offered little upside for the United States in the view of  many conservatives. Yet it would have instituted a new, international legal regime and further eroded American sovereignty.

DeMint spearheaded a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to outline the opposition. It was signed by 31 of the 34 senators. Isakson announced his opposition independently and Portman and Ayotte wrote a separate letter. Here’s the full text of the DeMint letter:

We understand that Chairman Kerry has renewed his efforts to pursue Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  We are writing to let you know that we believe this Convention reflects political, economic, and ideological assumptions which are inconsistent with American values and sovereignty.

By its current terms, the Law of the Sea Convention encompasses economic and technology interests in the deep sea, redistribution of wealth from developed to undeveloped nations, freedom of navigation in the deep sea and exclusive economic zones which may impact maritime security, and environmental regulation over virtually all sources of pollution.

To effect the treaty’s broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention.  Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels.

If this treaty comes to the floor, we will oppose its ratification.