Senior Essay Library

Waiting at the Altar The United States and the International Criminal Court
Matthew Stewart
The proposed International Criminal Court (ICC) promises to usher in a new era of universal justice. By crushing impunity and imposing justice on all who commit war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, the ICC aims to bring to trial alleged criminals that manage to evade prosecution on a national level. Yet there are some serious criticisms of the Court structure outlined in the 1998 Rome Treaty that threaten to undermine the American ratification effort and, ultimately, the effectiveness of the ICC. This paper examines the arguments advanced by the United States government regarding the perceived faults with the ICC. Some concerns, such as those regarding perceived violations of sovereignty and unconstitutionality, may be rather easily discounted through an analysis of American history, developments in international law and the text of the Rome Treaty. More realistic concerns, primarily the fear of military embarrassment and the resulting erosion in political capital and the US world leadership position that might occur after the initiation of an internal investigation due to the threat of ICC action, deserve a more thorough discussion. Critics should consider that active American support for the ICC would generate many positive effects for the US, including a chance to shape the development of the Court, increased global security, and the confirmation of the US as a moral leader while transferring onerous ethical watchdog duties to an international organization. The aforementioned threats to American interests are real, but in light of the great benefits the US is poised to receive by working with the ICC, it is in the best interests of the US Senate to ratify the Rome Treaty and commit needed American resources to the ICC. It is left to the American people and politicians to make the ratification of the Rome Treaty a priority for this country, and to open the new age of international accountability that the ICC hopes to engender in the near, rather than distant, future.
Who Should Vote? Election Day Voter Registration and Democratic Vote Share
Benjamin Shaffer
This senior essay focuses on Election Day Voter Registration, the political philosophy behind this policy and the policy’s affect on Democratic Party turnout in elections.  Examining election results through regression analysis, the paper examines the common belief that election day voter registration benefits the Democratic Party by appealing more to the traditional constituencies of the Democratic Party.   Further, it examines the philosophical arguments for and against election day voter registration, drawing on thinkers such as Lippman, Schumpeter, Hamilton, and Madison.