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The United States has participated in most diplomatic discussions concerning the establishment of an international criminal court for the prosecution of mass atrocities, including the crime of genocide. US representatives supported the creation of an international penal tribunal during the drafting of the UN genocide convention. President Harry Truman signed the convention immediately following its adoption and, shortly thereafter, submitted it to the Senate for its advice and consent for ratification. The Senate failed to give its consent for 40 years. This paper analyzes (1) the foreign policy of the United States concerning the establishment of an international penal tribunal under article VI of the genocide convention and (2) how the Senate served as a roadblock to ratification for four decades.