Conservatives Attack Koh

By
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 at 1:52 pm

It should come as no surprise that President Obama’s nomination of the widely respected human rights expert and dean of the Yale Law School, Harold Hongju Koh, to be the State Department’s legal adviser has gotten conservatives to call out their attack dogs, as FOX News reports.

Koh, as Spencer has written, is a former Clinton administration State Department official who actually cares about human rights: at Alberto Gonzales’ confirmation hearing to become attorney general in 2005, he testified that the infamous August 2002 Office of Legal Counsel memo authorizing torture was “perhaps the most clearly erroneous legal opinion that I have ever read” and a “stain on our national reputation.” Of course, Jack Goldsmith, the former Bush administration OLC official, has also attacked those opinions as “deeply flawed” and “sloppily reasoned,” so Koh is hardly alone.

But Koh — who is the author or co-author of eight books and more than 150 articles on international human rights, business, national security and international law, among other things — has on occasion also boldly expressed his strong respect for international human rights law, which doesn’t go over very well with many conservatives.

In an article published in the Berkeley Journal of International Law in 2004, for example, which FOX News cites, Koh asked: “What role can transnational legal process play in affecting the behavior of several nations whose disobedience with international law has attracted global attention after September 11th — most prominently, North Korea, Iraq and our own country, the United States of America? For shorthand purposes, I will call these countries ‘the axis of disobedience.’”

Putting the United States in the same axis as North Korea and Iraq has, not surprisingly, outraged critics who, like the Bush administration, don’t believe the U.S. ought to be reined in by international legal standards.

Steven Gross, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told FOX News that he worries that Koh “cares as much about — if not more about — international law and integrating that into the American judicial system than he does about protecting American prerogatives and American sovereignty.”

And John Fonte, senior fellow and director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute, said Koh’s views amount to “international imperialism. Under Koh’s plan, the Constitution would become secondary and international law would take precedence regardless of what Americans said about the matter.”

The White House vehemently defended Koh’s nomination on Tuesday, telling FOX News that he is “one of the most respected members of the legal community.”

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Comments

7 Comments

hal smith
Comment posted April 1, 2009 @ 11:42 am

This turkey Koh sounds like the male counterpart to Sandra Day O'commie!
You may remember her being the former Supreme Court shystress who advocated deciding U.S. court cases according to Internationl law standards.
Get him outta of our country and send him packing to Papa Fidel's homeland!


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted April 1, 2009 @ 11:44 am

Here's something that's cut and dried: Harold Koh supports illegal activity and corruption.


The Party of No attacks Koh « Later On
Pingback posted April 1, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

[...] in Congress, Daily life, GOP, Government, Obama administration at 11:58 am by LeisureGuy Daphne Eviatar of the Washington Independent: It should come as no surprise that President Obama’s nomination of the widely respected human [...]


Surn
Comment posted April 1, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

The U.S. Constitution is the foundation of freedom for mankind. It will be remembered long after we are all gone. Kon does not support the constitution and should not be allowed to server in government for this country.

If he is appointed it will directly threaten U.S. sovereignty.


may
Comment posted April 1, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

i am not American,so suppose a comment on the comments could be construed as not minding my own business

but

the effect rippling through the world from the decisions of the decider and administration during their period of administration have been dire.

so

the pattern of quite rabid slash ,denigrate,claim untenable virtue and asperse coming at once to any who are not in agreement with the previous administration, is a display to the world of the kind of behaviour characterised by the appellation of ugly american.

which is a pity.

the American experiment can do better than that.


tanstaafl
Comment posted April 2, 2009 @ 5:51 am

Congratulations on your blogrolling 24AheadDotCom, but despite your intent, the link you gave and the links it leads to only show your xenophobic paranoia. They do not show that that Koh supports illegality and corruption.
The fact that Republican Senators are apparently planning to fillibuster such a mainstream and respected lawyer is the clearest possible sign that they haven't learned any lessons whatsoever from the last 8 years, have no positive vision for the future and are reduced to blind opposition for its own sake rather than for any actual principles.


tanstaafl
Comment posted April 2, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

Congratulations on your blogrolling 24AheadDotCom, but despite your intent, the link you gave and the links it leads to only show your xenophobic paranoia. They do not show that that Koh supports illegality and corruption.
The fact that Republican Senators are apparently planning to fillibuster such a mainstream and respected lawyer is the clearest possible sign that they haven't learned any lessons whatsoever from the last 8 years, have no positive vision for the future and are reduced to blind opposition for its own sake rather than for any actual principles.


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