This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at

Nomination Of Harold Koh Raises Grave Issues Concerning U.S. Sovereignty

May 21, 2009

Nomination Of Harold Koh Raises Grave Issues Concerning U.S. Sovereignty

May 21, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - - On a May 12, 12-5 party line vote [Richard Lugar R-IN, being the only affirmative GOP vote] the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported Harold Koh, team Obama's nominee to serve as the State Department's top legal advisor, out of committee and referred it to the full Senate.

The Senate is expected to take up the matter when it returns in June from the Memorial Day holiday.

Mr. Koh currently is serving as the Dean of Yale Law School. His nomination for the State position has been mired in controversy stemming from his advocacy of subsuming U.S. legal concepts to transnational/international jurisprudence.

The nominee's critics stress that while our current legal system is built on the solid bedrock of U.S. national sovereignty, Koh's radicalism on this matter would challenge that traditional emphasis and seriously threaten American self-determination.

Substantiating that allegation, those who challenge Koh's nominations offer his own words as proof, in this instance detailing how U.S. law can be subverted by an activist Federal judiciary.

"[F]ederal judges have become an increasingly critical link between the international and the domestic legal spheres...Over the decades, American judges have helped internalize international legal norms into U.S. domestic law through a range of interpretive techniques." [source, Penn State International Law Review (Vol. 24, No. 4, 2006)]

In Koh's worldview the U.S., rather than deriving its legitimacy directly from within its own borders, would instead be rendered subservient to foreign interests, making it just one of 192 members in the United Nations and jointly governed under such murky left-wing concept as human rights declarations, the meaning and scope of which are constantly in flux.

As a practical matter, if Mr. Koh's ideas are put into practice at State, the ongoing effort to battle the threat posed by radical Islam could be seriously hampered.

As we saw just yesterday with the apprehension of 4 Muslim jihadists in New York, bent on bombing synagogues and shooting down National Guard aircraft, the asymmetrical terrorist threat remains potent and as a response, the United States must retain the sole responsibility to act and determine policy - within the limits provided by the Constitution - against the ongoing international and domestic jihad, absent the influence of foreign meddling.

That Koh's legal theories in this are extreme is beyond question.

His writings and public statement betray him as a radical transnationalist. If his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Koh will become voice of the United States around the world on international legal issues.

A strongly worded pubic letter sent to the Senate opposing Koh stated the dimension of concern about his candidacy, "Among other responsibilities, the Legal Adviser (1) is involved in the negotiation, drafting, and interpretation of treaties, U.N. Security Council resolutions, and General Assembly resolutions; (2) represents the United States in international negotiations, at international organizations, and before the International Court of Justice; and (3) interprets and seeks to develop international law."

The letter continued, outlining Koh's radical legal philosophy:

"1. That the congressionally authorized 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq "violate[d] international law" because the U.S. had not received "explicit United Nations authorization" ("A Better Way To Deal With Iraq," Hartford Courant, October 20, 2002);

2. That pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations the decisions of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, trump the legal rulings and decisions of domestic state criminal courts (Brief of Former United States Diplomats as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner Jose Ernesto Medellin, Case No. 06-984 in the U.S. Supreme Court, Medellin v. The State of Texas, June 28, 2007);

3. That the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court should "tip more decisively toward a transnationalist jurisprudence" ("On American Exceptionalism," Stanford Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 5, p. 1525, May 2003);

4. That the United States should ratify the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child regardless of the implications for American sovereignty and federalism (Change for America; A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President, p. 497, New York, 2009);

5. That the United States is such a major violator of international law that it belongs in an "axis of disobedience" with nations such as North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq ("Transnational Legal Process After September 11th," Berkeley Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, p. 337, 2004)."

Mr. Koh's opinions are far outside America's traditional legal structure. If he is confirmed at State, his judicial philosophy will seriously and irrevocably damage U.S. national sovereignty, threaten the right of American's to determine their own fate and subject this country to the vagaries of such bodies as the International Court of Justice.

Koh's views are so seriously out of step with American law and preceding Democrat and Republican administration that his nomination must be defeated.

For further information please visit,

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at