Since he was announced as President Obama’s nominee for Legal Adviser to the State Department, Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh has been at the center of intense debate. As a staunch advocate of “transnationalism,” Mr. Koh’s nomination is highly controversial. Transnationalism is, in Koh’s words, the “the blending of international and domestic law.”  It is the responsibility of American courts, Koh maintains, to “promote the development of a global legal system.”  Mr. Koh supports ratification of controversial treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Luckily, some in Washington are taking note and standing against his nomination.

Recent Opposition

  • South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint managed to delay the vote on Mr. Koh’s nomination in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  In a post on his website, Sen. DeMint noted that after meeting with Koh privately, he is “particularly concerned about the role he sees for international law when making and interpreting U.S. laws and how they apply to the Department of State.”  He also noted that Koh’s “judicial philosophy suggests that he believes international law supersedes U.S. federal law, and that the Constitution should be just one of many guide posts for the American legal system.  I fear Mr. Koh’s positions could undermine American sovereignty and the unique role the United States plays in the world.”
  • A group of conservatives, including former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, has released a statement announcing their opposition to the Harold Koh nomination for Legal Advisor to the State Department.  The group notes that Koh would favor “an aggressive misuse of treaties to impose social and economic policies on American citizens,” specifically the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  The treaty has been used to further pro-abortion policies in signatory countries, such as Ireland, and even attempted to legalize prostitution in China.

More on Harold Koh can be read HERE.