No on Koh; the Senate Should Reject Transnationalism

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

No on Koh; the Senate Should Reject Transnationalism


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Senate has a chance this week to kill the most offensive nomination of an executive-branch official since President Clinton's ill-fated selection of radical black racialist Lani Guinier for assistant attorney general in 1993. Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh is unfit to be chief legal counsel at the State Department. Senators should vote him down.

Mr. Koh's repeatedly stated agenda is contrary to the American tradition of law originating in the consent of the governed. In its place, Mr. Koh would apply what he calls a transnationalist approach whereby domestic laws and even the Constitution could be brushed aside in favor of international authorities.

From various writings by Mr. Koh, we learn that American courts should moderate certain of our rights that create conflicts, such as our exceptional free-speech tradition. He also has encouraged outside criticism of Americans' embrace of the First Amendment.

The Second Amendment fares no better. In an essay called A World Drowning in Guns, Mr. Koh endorsed a global regulatory regime to outlaw firearms though rules negotiated among governments at a horizontal, intergovernmental level and interpreted through the interaction of transnational actors. Those laws, he wrote, could then be internalized into the domestic statutes, executive practice and judicial systems of those participating nations.

What he means is that international gun bans could be imposed on American citizens without a vote of the American people. …

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