Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Full and Fair Debate Needed on Harold Koh Nomination

Wednesday June 24 a vote will be held on cloture on the Harold Koh nomination to be the Legal Advisor for the U.S. Department of State. With no debate yet on his controversial nomination to this important post, questions abound on what Harold Koh would do regarding international treaties and law.

Below are Koh’s positions in his own words about where he stands on several controversial issues. These deserve full and fair debate.

Second Amendment and Gun Control
Called for a “Global gun control regime,” and said that, “supply-side control measures within the United States” are essential. Harold Koh, Fordham Law Review, Vol. 71 (May 2003)

U.S. as member of “axis of disobedience”
“Turning to the United States, the final member of the ‘axis of disobedience,’ our greatest surprise should be how quickly after September 11th we turned the story from the non-compliance of others with international law, to our own non-compliance.” Harold Koh, Berkeley Journal of International Law, Vol. 22:337 (2004)

Supports controversial CEDAW treaty that pushes for more abortions
“The United States can and should accept virtually all of CEDAW’s obligations and undertakings without qualification.” Harold Koh, Statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 13, 2002

Questions Importance of First Amendment for U.S.
America’s “distinctive rights culture,” which gives “First Amendment protections for speech and religion … far greater emphasis and judicial protection in America than in Europe or Asia.” America’s “exceptional free speech tradition can cause problems abroad,” and the way for the “Supreme Court [to] moderate these conflicts” is “by applying more consistently the transnationalist approach to judicial interpretation”
Harold Koh, “On American Exceptionalism,” 55 Stanford. Law Review 1479, 1483 & n. 14 (2003)

Pushes for a “Transnationalist” Approach to Law
“Some have asked me, ‘Is your notion of transnational legal process an academic theory? Is it an activist strategy? Or is it a blueprint for policy makes?’ Over time, my answer has become, ‘It is all three.’” Harold Koh, Berkeley Journal of International Law, Vol. 22:337 (2004)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Defeat Koh

The nomination of Harold Koh to be the State Department Legal advisor should be defeated in order to prevent a further erosion of American sovereignty to transnationalism. Prof. Koh has clearly indicated in his body of work that his primary loyalty is to creating an international legal system that would subordinate both the American constitution and US legislative bodies to the legal whims of international legal organizations (such as the International Criminal Court), and international institutions (such as the United Nations). He would codify the notion that the United States can only act in its own national security interest with the prior approval of the UN. This is a dangerous and unjustifiable abandonment of American sovereignty.
Jeff Gayner, Americans for Sovereignty