Theodore's World: B.Hussein Obama's Most Perilous Legal Pick Harold Koh

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March 31, 2009

B.Hussein Obama's Most Perilous Legal Pick Harold Koh

New York Post


Obama nominee sees no "reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States"

On top of that, this Obama pick believes that "America's focus on the War on Terror [is] 'obsessive.'" And his list of countries that flagrantly disregard international law highlights North Korea, Iraq, and the U.S.A. -- which he collectively calls "the axis of disobedience."

JUDGES should interpret the Constitution according to other nations' legal "norms." Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an "axis of disobedience" along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.

Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government's top lawyers: Harold Koh.

President Obama has nominated Koh -- until last week the dean of Yale Law School -- to be the State Department's legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements on issues from trade to arms control, and help represent our country in such places as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

It's a job where you want a strong defender of America's sovereignty. But that's not Koh. He's a fan of "transnational legal process," arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish.

What would this look like in a practical sense? Well, California voters have overruled their courts, which had imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Koh would like to see such matters go up the chain through federal courts -- which, in turn, should look to the rest of the world. If Canada, the European Human Rights Commission and the United Nations all say gay marriage should be legal -- well, then, it should be legal in California too, regardless of what the state's voters and elected representatives might say.
He even believes judges should use this "logic" to strike down the death penalty, which is clearly permitted in the US Constitution.
The primacy of international legal "norms" applies even to treaties we reject. For example, Koh believes that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child -- a problematic document that we haven't ratified -- should dictate the age at which individual US states can execute criminals. Got that? On issues ranging from affirmative action to the interrogation of terrorists, what the rest of the world says, goes.
Including, apparently, the world of radical imams. A New York lawyer, Steven Stein, says that, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that "in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States."
A spokeswoman for Koh said she couldn't confirm the incident, responding: "I had heard that some guy . . . had asked a question about sharia law, and that Dean Koh had said something about that while there are obvious differences among the many different legal systems, they also share some common legal concepts."

Score one for America's enemies and hostile international bureaucrats, zero for American democracy.

Koh has called America's focus on the War on Terror "obsessive." In 2004, he listed countries that flagrantly disregard international law -- "most prominently, North Korea, Iraq, and our own country, the United States of America," which he branded "the axis of disobedience.[...]
Even though he's up for a State Department job, Koh is a key test case in the "judicial wars." If he makes it through (which he will if he gets even a single GOP vote) the message to the Obama team will be: You can pick 'em as radical as you like.


Another Day, Another Scary Nomination

by David Limbaugh ( Rush's brother)


So while you should be mortified by his dictatorial power grab with General Motors, please don't miss his recent nomination of former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh as legal adviser for the State Department.

In his new position, Koh not only would represent the United States before international bodies, such as the U.N. and the International Court of Justice, but also would influence the degree to which laws of other countries should influence American jurisprudence.

After reading an alarming piece by Meghan Clyne in the New York Post concerning the Koh nomination and the degree to which Koh believes it's appropriate for courts to consider other nations' laws in interpreting our Constitution, I read a number of Koh's legal writings and speeches.

Clyne reported that New York lawyer Steven Stein said that Koh, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, claimed that "in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States."

It turns out that on March 21, 2007, Carol Iannone, on Phi Beta Cons blog, published a letter from Stein to Dean Koh about his Yale Club remarks. Stein wrote, in part, "In your discussion of 'global law' I recall at least one favorable reference to 'Sharia', among other foreign laws that could, in an appropriate instance (according to you) govern a controversy in a federal or state court in the US."

In Fordham Law Review, Koh asserted that the U.S. "Supreme Court is divided between two judicial camps: the transnationalists and the nationalists." Koh considers himself a transnationalist and justices Roberts, Scalia and Alito nationalists.

Koh explained the differences between these two judicial philosophies. According to Koh, transnationalist judges look to U.S. interdependence, whereas nationalists tend to look to U.S. autonomy. Transnationalists think about how U.S. law fits into a framework of transnational law, while nationalists see a rigid foreign and domestic divide. Transnationalists think that courts can "domesticate" international law (make it part of our law), whereas nationalists think that only the political branches can. Transnationalists favor the development of a global legal system, while nationalists prefer a national legal system.

Koh's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 16, 2008, in which he lamented that the Bush administration forfeited the "universal sympathy" America enjoyed as a victim of the 9/11 attacks with a "series of unnecessary, self-inflicted wounds, which have gravely diminished our global standing and damaged our reputation for respecting the rule of law," including Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, torture, indefinite detention of enemy combatants, military commissions, warrantless wiretaps, evasion of the Geneva Conventions and international human rights treaties, excessive government secrecy, attacks on the United Nations, and others.

It's no surprise to me that Obama seeks to install as assistant State Department legal counsel a man who, like George Soros and a host of ultra-left-wing bloggers, believes America is always the bad guy and that we should rehabilitate ourselves through following the wisdom of foreign nations and international bodies.


Wild Thing's comment........

US laws and the Constitution have no meaning, no standing, and no relevance to this guy. This is terrifying! And what makes this a double whammy is that Obama feels the exact same way about our Constitution as he has made it very clear that he loathes it.

from New York Times

"“I was a little Jakarta street kid,” he said in a wide-ranging interview in his office (excerpts are on my blog, He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics — and more likely to be aware of their nationalism — if he once studied the Koran with them.
Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

Posted by Wild Thing at March 31, 2009 05:50 AM


I guess that explains why the people coming out of these "ivy league" institutions of higher learning are so f@#k%d up. The likes of Koh running the show. He is in line however with the Obama thinking and his other nominations and the scumbags in congress keep approving them.

Posted by: Bob A at March 31, 2009 06:50 AM

Okay, how are these whackjobs who voted for the village idiot going to feel when someone in their family gets a hand lopped off? Or when women can't go outside without a man on their hand? Please. Let's just set us back about a thousand years. Koh is a dangerous, dangerous man.

Posted by: Lynn at March 31, 2009 08:13 AM

Where do they find these nitwits. He and Clinton had a knack of finding the most obscure and obtuse people to add to the administration. these fringe whackos lurk on the edge in relative obsurity, oh they know they're there but they are hidden from view. Until some other fringe kook gets elected. Then they dig up all these worthless characters, like zombies, and foist them on the public to be accepted as NORMAL,...clear thinking geniuses set in the template of Timothy 'the Tax Cheat' Geithner. When in reality they are more fringe that their boss and are allowed to run amok, while sinking the government and hence the country.

Again the American Public is the loser.

Posted by: Mark at March 31, 2009 10:27 AM

Soon we will all get to listen to the sound of muzzie call to prayers five times a day. At the same time our new Administration will probably rule it enviromentally hazardous to peel Christian church bells on Sunday.

At the same time hello UN rulings and mandates as this guy Koh and SecState Hillary rule against US interests. I wonder which commie Ivy Leaguer is our UN rep.

Posted by: TomR at March 31, 2009 11:59 AM

This is why it is unconstitutional to place a person who is not a natural born American Citizen on the ballot for President. the five thousand years old Hammurabi’s Code is excessively modern for this guy. (For those who do not know Sharia is not law. Sharia is the body of Islamic custom meaning the Islamic way in translation. The Muslim world has no true law or means to agreed on what a law is.)

International "Law" has two natures. There is a body of treaties that were adopted and ratified by nations that are true laws. The text can be carved in stone. Then there is sharia like opinions of NGO bureaucrats who pretend that certain things are law. The problem is that international court is trying to impose these opinions on the world. As the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice said of the NAZI war crimes trials “they deserve to hang I am just not sure that they did anything illegal.”

The Geneva Conventions, the last time the US Senate ratified them, said that illegal combatants captured on the battlefield outside their own country and without a state sponsor are entitled to summary execution. This law is also why spys can be shot. That any of them are still alive at Gitmo is an act of mercy on the part of the United States. I do not think Koh or Obama know enough about law to recognizee this. Obama, as the least published Harvard Law Review editor ever, is kind of last in his class.

Posted by: Avitar at March 31, 2009 04:18 PM