Of the smear brigades:
It’s 11:45 a.m. on April 1, and if you run a Google News search on Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School and President Obama’s pick for legal adviser to the State Department, here’s what you’ll find: 13 pieces on far-right Web sites characterizing Koh as dangerous and anti-American; several Fox News stories, updated several times daily, one of which describes the anti-Koh screeds as “burning up the Internet”; and a measly two blog posts defending Koh from these attacks. By the time you read this, I suspect that Fox News will have a scrolling red banner that reads, “Obama’s Koh pick imperils us all” (and … wait for it … BINGO!), the anti-Koh pieces will number 18, and the pro-Koh blog posts will number three.
You know where this is going, don’t you? His only sin was to be appointed.
Nim, ham hock of liberty
Yeah, this latest stunt is particularly loathsome and insulting to the collective national intelligence. It’s extremely dishonest on so many levels – not the least of which is that even IF the hearsay quote is accurate, so what? It’s not even advocating the application of Sharia law.
Once again, assuming this quote is accurate, you cannot possibly justify the hysterical Fox conclusion without knowing the context. While IAAL, I don’t deal with international contracts, but my understanding is that contracts between parties in different countries can generally include enforceable applicable-law provisions. You probably could have a situation where a contract subject to Sharia law was entered into by someone who later came to the US, broke the contract, and was sued on it here. And the court has to apply Sharia law to decide whether the contract was, in fact, breached.
So, clearly, this means we’re turning over the country to the jihadists…
Attack a person’s strong points not their negative. Rough them up so that there is FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) in the populace. I believe what the majority of the polls show is that most reasonable Americans are willing to give Obama some time to put his people and programs in place and see if they can right the ship. I hope what eventually becomes evident is that a government run like an exclusive country club, where only the members get rich……is really not good for all those left outside. Until then I will continue to turn off the daily right wing attacks. Further, I am more than happy to listen to their ideas if they have any but the more they act like two year olds, the less likely I am going to be around when a true idea is presented.
But the Dow is up nearly 2 points this morning. Wall Street clearly loves his pick.
Since more people are catching on, it will eventually become a badge of honor for an appointee to be smeared by the right wing and a reason for doubt for those who are *not* smeared.
Seriously though, I’m sure Koh and Johnsen are bewildered by the right wing attacks, and I hope their nominations aren’t scuttled based on provably false information.
The real ‘context’ is not Sharia law itself, but Koh’s position that U.S. Constitutional law needs to transform and subservient itself to International law, and to look to International law as an over-riding authority to the Constitution.
While that is not a position I agree with, it not a trivial one, nor one that cannot be supported. It is part of a tension that currently exists in academic and legal circles.
And, as with Judicial appointments, this IS a case that the Executive branch deserves great deference to push their agenda, even if, like myself, you don’t agree with it.
Elections have consequences.
Koh has actually been on the shitlist for a long time for being part of the group of law school deans & luminaries that fought to keep JAG recruiters off the law school campuses to protest DOD’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Overseas Contingency Operation on teh ghey, plus for some international law theories he has floated that bother the xenophobes / Republicans – same thing. Opposition to him has mostly been by the conservative legal cabal and at the law/intellectual level, but his nomination means that the less educated mouth breathers (as opposed to the more educated ones with law degrees) are now talking about him.
I happen to think he’s right and that U.S. courts should employ foreign law as a normative constitutional interpretive device, in keeping with the nature of the living constitution. To do otherwise is to argue that the Furriners don’t have anything to teach us, and to give in to the originalists’ arguments.
The only things about Harold Koh that really matter to these idiots are that he’s not white and Obama wants him. Everything else is window dressing.
Can we let these assholes secede already? Their stupidity and incompetence is going to drag the rest of us down the drain with them.
The organizer of the dinner where Koh was reputed to have made the remarks, as well as several other attendees, has publicly stated that Koh did not say any such thing. Would you care to provide a link to substantiate your claim that Koh has ever advocated for making U.S, Constitutional law subservient to international law?
OTOH, you better keep a close eye on Justice David Breyer:
Uh… I really don’t see this as a serious threat. Blogger hissy fits do not equal, say, AIPAC hissy fits or major tax issues. What’s gonna stop the confirmation?
Shawn in Showme
Well, it’s Koh’s word versus an interpretation of Koh’s words by a regular reader of the National Review blog page. I mean, who ya gonna believe?
Except that is not his position, nimrod.
OK, first, I can and do disagree with his position without saying it does not have plausible merit. That was one of my points in my first comment.
Second, if I didn’t make it clear enough, I also believe that this is a case of a fully qualified candidate for which there are no justifiable reasons to deny confirmation, as policy differences should not be a blocking factor for such nominations. He is being nominated by the Obama Administration as an adviser, and Obama, as our duly elected President, has the right to choose the tone of the advice and advocacy he desires from his appointees.
Third, I made no direct comment on whether he did or did not make the comment, but from what I red, he likely said something very much like it, and within the context of his view of International law, it was not really a provocative statement, nor an endorsement of Sharia law per se. Again, that was one of my points.
Finally, I do not have an account with The Stanford law review, so this is the best I can provide. Let’s be clear here. He has a right to this position, it is not a ‘crackpot’ legal theory in any sense, there are MANY legal scholars that think it has merit, and there are many that do not. But insisting he didn’t make these comments, or that these are not his beliefs, makes no sense:
"Harold Koh, the dean of Yale University Law School, served as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor during the Clinton Administration. In a detailed article in the Stanford Law Review responding to the Bush foreign policy, Koh articulates the central viewpoint of the American governing left.
Koh chastises the US for failing to “obey global norms.”America, Koh tells us, “promotes double standards” by refusing to ratify the International Criminal Court treaty; “claiming a Second Amendment exclusion from a proposed global ban on the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons”; and “declining to implement the orders of the International Court of Justice with regard to the death penalty.”Indeed, Koh complains: “The World Court finally found that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention” (on the death penalty), but “American courts have essentially ignored” the ruling of the ICJ.
Koh’s proposed remedy to American exceptionalism is for “American lawyers, scholars and activists” to “trigger a transnational legal process,” of “transnational interactions” that will “generate legal interpretations that can in turn be internalized into the domestic law of even resistant nation-states.”For example, Koh suggests that, “human rights advocates” should litigate “not just in domestic courts, but simultaneously before foreign and international arenas.”Moreover, they should encourage foreign governments (such as Mexico) and transnational NGOs to challenge the US on the death penalty and other human rights issues.
Supporters of the International Criminal Court should, Koh recommends, “provoke interactions between the United States government and the ICC” that might lead to the US becoming enmeshed in the ICC process (by, for example, having the US provide evidence in ICC trials). These interactions with the ICC would show cooperation with the tribunal and therefore “could be used to undermine” the official US “unsigning” of the treaty because it might “constitute a de-facto repudiation” of the “act of unsignature."
Speaking of the crybaby rights attempt to derail Obama’s picks I just got around a couple of nights ago to real the TNR article written by Crowley 2 or 3 weeks ago on McCain and some other senators attempts to derail Hill’s appointment as ambassador to Iraq. I guess one of the reasons they hate him, which they only obliquely referred to in their letter objecting to him, is that he is reputed to have said the below about the right/neocons/Bushies in regards to how they approached negotiation with North Korea:
"These a–holes don’t know how to negotiate. Everything is Appomattox. It’s just ‘Come out with your hands up.’ It’s not even really Appomattox, because at the end of Appomattox they let the Confederates keep their horses."
Austin, could you direct me to ANY serious schorlarship on that point. As a current law student with at least 5 classes dealing with the Constitutions and its Amendments, I have spent countless long, boring, puzzling hours reading Supreme Court opinions and the opinions of [gasp] liberal writers interpreting them (Sustein and Chemerinsky) for law students. The pages on international law affecting the Constitution were probably less 1% of the total.
Simply put, as Dahlia makes clear in her article, merely acknowledging other codes and systems exist and how they handle present questions is not "looking to international law as an over-riding authority on the Constitution." At his highest level of deference (a ratified treaty), international law is still only equivalent to statutory law and thus subservient to the Constitution.
Breathless fear amongst the right that Obama might appoint people who would hold the Bushies accountable for what they did is what is leading this charge, but those partisan hacks can’t make that case for fear of showing their hand.
I wonder if Republicans still support the "nuclear option." Man, I so wanted Lott to eat that poison pill.
Shawn in Showme
When the Bushies watch The Karate Kid, they root for Cobra Kai to win. "Strike First, Strike Hard, Show No Mercy!"
But pointing out that the arguement YOU originally made is a straw man argument makes quite a bit of sense. At best it’s an oversimplification of an issue that demands nuance; at worst, it’s distortion and deception—which is what people are complaining about.
Jeezus ke-ricet Yoo explicitly argued for *crushing a child’s testicals* in order to force his parent to comply with presidential wishes. Call it Shari’a or call it Bush’s law which is worse? I can’t see that its worse to be willing to imagine that some religiously sanctioned contracts could be enforceable in a secular court of law than to explicitly call for the torture of innocents on a presidential whim. Also, everyone should immiediatly google "Little Mosque on the Prarie/youtube" and enjoy the Canadian take on these issues in one of the greatest sitcoms (if not the only sitcom) on the subject of all time.
"Except that is not his position, nimrod."
Um, yes it is, as I just pointed out. And why do you have a problem with him having that position? I disagree with it, but don’t deny him the right to advocate it.
And people wonder why this board so quickly degenerates into name calling. Even trying to put forth reasoned arguments seems a waste of time.
You all complain about the lock-step Dittohead reaction of the right. Please, tell me how this board differs from that characterization, except from a left perspective.
From what I’m reading of your post it seems like he’s advocating for two things. Firstly, that the judicial community within the United States lobby from the ground up to move US law more into line with recognized international law. And secondly, that litigants both within and beyond the United States should launch duel appeals in US Courts and International Courts to build up more case law highlighting the divide and, perhaps, gain some leverage on US courts through international appeal.
It’s worth noting that the United States is very big – the largest economy and population in the western hemisphere and (arguably) the most stable and sophisticated legal system by at least an order of magnitude. Contrast this to Europe or Africa or the Middle East, in which a large number of equally sized sovereign nations occupy a similar space. It makes sense that Germany and France would need to reconcile their legal systems in the same way that it makes sense Texas and Oklahoma need some federal overview of their state laws. But there is significantly less pressure for the US – at a federal level – to interface with the Cuban or Belizian legal systems.
Still, as transnational visitation and migration becomes more and more common and international trade picks up, we’re going to have to reconcile legal systems one way or another. Either the US simply ignores all foreign legal systems or it deals with them. One is just as real an international legal policy as the other. Koh is embracing the inevitable. The GOP is running away from it.
Dahlia Lithwick takes apart the right’s meme.
This is a test. The White House needs to engage to save the Koh and Johnsen nominations, or it will never be able to get a Supreme Court nominee confirmed.
Rahm needs to get an rusty old piece of rebar from underneath the Dan Ryan Expressway and shove it up Harry Reid’s ass to give him the spine he so desperately needs. The mere threat of a filibuster cannot be allowed to carry the day. If the Senate Republicans want to stop these nominations, they must be required to have an actual filibuster, out in the open, for the country to see what unprincipled gasbags they really are.
Obama needs to send the following message, just this explicitly: "This is personal. You fuck with me on this, and I am coming for you the next time you run for re-election. And I have thirteen million email addresses. What you got?"
We’re right on the merits. That matters.
I see the Republican mindset already, it would be inappropriate to not consider his position he never took.
Um, no it isn’t. Straw man position at best. As several people have pointed out.
Why should we take you seriously when you, like so many on the right, distort arguments like this and fail to respond when it’s pointed out?
Koh’s position is that we have existing international laws and treaties that we don’t follow. I don’t know how you can take that to mean the bullshit the Right Wing is peddling about Koh being an advocate for Sharia Law. If we just started blocking all truckers from crossing the Mexican border and Koh noted how that was a violation of NAFTA, would you accuse him of trying to force Mexican laws on American citizens? Because it’s the same argument.
You shouldn’t. The right simply is never honest in their arguments.
Exactly! Because even though that position does not logically follow from any position he has ever actually taken, he might take that position someday, and then we’re all fucked.
You left this out of Koh’s cv:
Obviously, he was a sleeper agent.
The fact that these people need to smear individuals instead of going after their ideas isn’t surprising. It’s happened before and is sadly typical of how the right seems to operate these days.
I’m not remotely qualified to address someone of Koh’s stature, on the right or the left. I don’t follow foreign policy nearly as much as I follow domestic policy, so my knowledge is even more incomplete. That said, as far as I can tell, there is a case to be made against the man, either in the position he is going to now hold or as a nominee to the Supreme Court. But it’s over something legitimate: his actual legal thought, not the distorted or simply made up claims by some dumbshits on the right. If some conservative legal scholars (as evidenced by their comments on their blogs) see Koh as "an unmitigated disaster" presumably for his beliefs, that’s fine. The discussion should be about what he actually thinks, and if Obama is going to nominate him or anyone else into a position of significance, it shouldn’t have any problem defending him.
Of course, this assumes there are people who oppose him for valid reasons. There certainly are, but I don’t see many people who have the stature being used by the Republicans or their supporters in any format. Are there really no conservative legal scholars who have the time or the will to assist a senator?
I find that hard to believe. I can only guess they were never asked, which is pretty damn sad. Yet something similar happened when the Republicans were trying to oppose the president’s stimulus package. A site was created to try to have qualified academics announce their support. Maybe it’s always been this way for the opposition party, but I find it incredible that they weren’t consulting with conservative academics who were stimulus skeptics right from the start. I can name a few off the top of my head. Would these people really be unwilling to help, particularly if they were already involved in government at one point?
Well, I’m skeptical. The new Democratic attorney general dropped a conviction of a Republican Senator because the Bush Justice Department fabricated testimony, among other things.
What the hell has been going on over there for the last 8 years? The whole world knows Gonzales was a clueless dupe, but Mukasey too? How many others?
Conservative lawyers are losing credibility, almost by the minute. Drip, drip, drip.
Gin up the outrage, as a distraction. That’s what it looks like to me.
Well, @Timb, I can’t provide a serious scholarly discussion of foreign law being used as a normative influence in US courts, but would you settle for primary sources?
That’s a mild use. Here’s a juvenile death penalty case, Roper, decided in 2005:
The whole discussion in Roper is a lot longer and more detailed than that but this comment is way too long already.
The upshot of the wingnuts’ arguments against using foreign law as a normative constitutional interpretive method is that the voters don’t get a chance to weigh in on how the law develops (since you’re constitutionalizing the standards applied, not writing mere statutory law) and because international law, at the best of times, is an exercise in cherry picking. Breyer’s Roper decision gets slammed particularly hard because he relies on a treaty against juvenile capital punishment expressly rejected by the U.S. as a reason for banning juvenile capital punishment in the U.S., which is sort of funny when you think about it because teh peepul’s elected leaders did weigh in and gave it thumbs down. But there’s three branches of government, not one here.
The wingnuts kind of have a point, you should probably be honest about that. But I happen to think that they are wrong because ultimately the end justifies the means, and that this is a great way to drag this country out of the stone age regardless of what the voters – 30% of whom are Republicans, another 30% of whom are morons (but then I repeat myself) who don’t know what they are voting for and experience wild swings in core political beliefs every 4-8 years – happen to think. It ain’t going to happen without legal innovation, so I think Koh is on the right track. Sometimes, you may look at Sharia law when the US is lagging behind developments elsewhere in the world and use that to point out a good direction that the Constitution should grow towards. I mean, how embarassing is it when you can point to Zimbabwe and Sudan and North Korea and China (all signatories to various human rights treaties we aren’t) as being ahead of the U.S. in human rights law?
To a certain extent, yes. There’s certainly an argument to be had here.
But it’s not one that the right wing is making (let along wingnuts). It’s "Omigod! International cites! Bad!!!!" That’s wildly oversimplistic and is inaccurate in its oversimplicity.
We can’t take the arguments we think are best from the wingnuts; we can only take on the arguments we get from them.
This is kinda OT, but am I the only person who thinks it’s odd that there’s a Wikipedia page devoted to just guessing about Obama’s Supreme Court appointees? I saw a link to that on Koh’s Wikipedia page. The attention paid to potential appointees for seats that aren’t even vacant yet reminds me of all the concern about the Fairness Doctrine, a global currency, and all kinds of other stuff that isn’t on the radar of sane people. And when every paragraph in the Overview section ends with , it’s hard to believe in a neutral point of view there.
OTOH, the actual content of the Wikipedia article seems innocuous, and according to the "Talk" page the article has survived scrutiny by more than one editor. Maybe I’m just overthinking it.
Well, Obama is a mooslim, so of course he wants advisers who think Sharia law is cool, amirite?
Just Some Fuckhead
Or maybe Wall Street hates Koh and is reacting positively to the smears? Wall Street can be an inscrutable little bitch sometimes.
I have been under the impression that some people have been making reasonable arguments about this from the right but I’m open to being convinced that they’re nothing but a partisan rent-a-mob.
Can someone explain to me what the fuck the wingnuts mean when they say that ANYONE thinks international law trumps constitutional law? The consitution is an organizing document of government. It lays out the structure of government and specifies what government can and cannot do. Exactly what international law would conflict with it? Are the wingers afraid that the US Congress will be declared an affront to Allah by the Masonic Illumicaliphate Commision and will thus have to be dissolved under "international law"?
Wait, I think I get it. The US constitution says that congress can declare war, but doesn’t specify who the congress can and cannot declare war on. Therefore, the wingnuts–who are strict constructionists, don’tchaknow–interpret that to mean that the US can declare war on anyone, at any time, for any reason. International law disagrees, and therefore international law conflicts with the constitution and should be ignored.
Or maybe it’s torture? The Constitution says that cruel and inhuman punishment is verboten, but it doesn’t say anything about the government using cruel and inhuman measures just for shits and giggles (strict constructionism!). International law says that torture is an affront to human rights, therefore international law conflicts with the constitution, and if The Hague wants to go after torturers, we should nuke Europe.
Am I close?
James F. Elliott
Koh’s "sin" to the Republicans was to go in front of Congress and the world and call John Yoo’s and Alberto Gonzales’s legal reasoning what it was — nonsensical, anti-American, and evil.
@James F. Elliott:
Exactly, that is why Johnson, or whatever her name is, is the other one in their sights. They are going to try and purge the administration of any voices who oppose torture.
Would you care to bring forward a Constitutional provision that you’re talking about? Is it that or interpretations of what the Constitution allows for?
In regard to the 2nd Amendment you all can kick and scream to your heart’s delight, it is a prohibition on government and that is pretty much final. Two hundred some years ago the US told the world to fuck itself for good reason, you propose to expand the role of government in the face of a specific prohibition because the world likes it? Sorry, there is a specific mechanism for doing that and it is called Amending the Constitution. You don’t do that because you know you don’t have the votes – period, so you try back dooring it.
The prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment is open to interpretation in the face of current standards, you can no more state that the 2nd only covers flintlocks than you can state that more stringent limits on cruel and unusual do not exist today, and this is again a limitation of governmental power rather than an expansion of it.
This isn’t just misinterpretation, this isn’t just "out of context" or "spin". We need to start calling this character assassination what it is: It’s LIBEL
Ooh, a straw man. Nobody is much interested in getting into a dust-up over the Second Amendment. It is interesting, though, that some people think that the Second Amendment is the only article in the Bill of Rights. Even more interesting that some of these same people were very comfortable with the idea that the War on Terror meant that the Bush/Cheney Axis of Evil could suspend the whole freakin’ Constitution in order to … wait for it… keep Americans safe.
It’s very interesting that you suggest that the founding of the country was a Big Middle Finger to the rest of the world, when practically every freakin’ word written on the subject by the founders and their staunchest supporters (from Thomas Paine to de de Tocqueville) indicated that they felt that the American Experiment potentially applied to everyone.
What do you not understand about this: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal.
Do you really see this as meaning, "Amurricans Only."
I think they point to things like the Roper decision which cited an international treaty against the juvenile death penalty – which everybody except the U.S. and that paragon of law and order, Somalia, had signed. Breyer found that a persuasive argument against the use of the death penalty in the U.S. against juveniles, discussing how it reflected evolving standards of decency under the 8th Amendment. It probably is a little odd that a treaty we didn’t sign was used to help overturn U.S. law. The other argument has something to do with the other source of International Law, which is "customary and traditional international law," which is sometimes a really good source of well-accepted law (like in admiralty cases involving ships lost at sea) but in other cases is really only what we want to make of it, on the strength of the argument that "everybody’s doing it this way." Sometimes that argument is true, sometimes you’re just saying that to get your way. For example – a lot of signatories to the Geneva Conventions don’t follow the letter of the law at all. So if it was self-executing (e.g. if you could sue on it in court without some law in the jurisdiction making it a basis of the law), you could either cite the text of the treaty as the basis of the law, or treat other nations’ customary observation of the Conventions as establishing the meaning of the treaty – a standard that is a hell of a lot lower based on how many signatories act. A key point in international law is whether a treaty, when signed, is self-executing. If so, then the treaty is enforceable against signatories. If it isn’t – like the Convention Against Torture – the signatories have to enact domestic laws to make it enforceable and to explain exactly what they think it means under their laws (which the U.S. has done in the criminal code). It’s a sop to notions of nationalism and national sovereignty, which I think is bullshit (it lets you sign a treaty then run away from it if other countries can’t enforce it against you in their courts, or at various international tribunals) but that’s how it normally works. The Spanish judge looking at indicting the Bush Junta under an exercise of "universal jurisdiction" is a good example of how it ought to work when we sign treaties; you ought to be able to haul people into court anywhere for violating international law, because what countries are going to vigorously enforce international law against themselves?
Thanks for the wingnut point of view there Chuck. Yeah, sure it’d be great to amend the constitution to get things fixed. There’s no guarantee it will fix things. Why don’t you ask the black people how that worked out for them. They got three Amendments protecting them in 1865 or so, along with the Civil Rights Acts of 1870 and 1871. Didn’t do a lot to stop Jim Crow and lynchings now, did it? You can’t protect minority rights in particular if you’re waiting for 2/3ds of the American people to come around and then get their state legislators to take notice of their change in viewpoint and that just doesn’t happen under your vision of things, which I’d consider to be 3/5ths correct.
To those who took my attempt at actual, constructive dialog on this issue, thank you.
For the majority, what a bunch of hypocritical assholes you are being.
gwangung and Zifnab – I NEVER said he advocated Sharia law, and was very clear on that. So claiming I did is a flat out lie. I DID say he likely said something along the lines of ‘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.’
That is a perfectly reasonable thing to say as a point of law, as he said, in an appropriate case, for instance, when both parties agreed in advance to be bound by such law. Now, where I would disagree would be if that instance the Sharia law was in conflict with the Constitution or other US laws. But he didn’t say that, nor did I claim he did.
His position of where International law should supersede Constitutional law was given by himself in the example of Capital Punishment. Again, I disagree, but it is a valid argument to take for those who believe in the supremacy of International law.
I also clearly said he SHOULD be confirmed. I guess you just don’t broach anything but groupthink here.
And someguy, the ends justify the means? Isn’t that the exact mentality this group of fine, rational debaters claim was at the core of the Bush Administration’s excesses and illegal activities?
Oh horseshit, I didn’t bring it up.
If you are referring to me, KMA, especially in regard to my statement regarding cruel and unusual in this comment and further my consistent record here and anywhere in regard to the entire BOR, I do not play pick and choose and this issue depends entirely on the fact that the BOR is a restriction of governmental interference in pre-existing rights. That is at least one of the middle fingers to the rest of the world’s governmental systems that presumed to pre-empt natural rights. Bush/Cheney et al pretended this was not the case as do most governments in existence today, typical authoritarian mindsets that transcend right/left divides.
International norms may allow you to broaden interpretations of words like cruel, unusual, unreasonable, etc but they do not allow you to abrogate them. The right is being ridiculous in regard to this issue, the Supreme Court would not allow any treaty to stand which violated the Constitution, not now and not in the future.
WTF do you think that FY to the world involved? We will act that way whether you do or not, it certainly was no mandate for the US to enforce such on the rest of the world unless perhaps you are one of Bush’s neocons. If you want to pick on me don’t bother to be stupid.
Have you been around here for more than a day or two? If so, can you read and do you have two live brain cells that talk to each other? Whatever I might like to see for the world is an entirely different matter from what I’m willing to try to make them do in regard to Constitutional law and principles nor will I try to use the Declaration of Independence as a club on the rest of the world.
I don’t think you’ve been very clear on that at all. You clearly have a problem with Koh, but your only objections seem to stem from right wing propaganda.
/facedesk. How in the high holy fuck does that distinguish itself from your claim that he wasn’t advocating Sharia law. That’s exactly what ‘Sharia law [sic] applied to govern a case in the United States’ translates to.
His position was that capital punishment violated the Vienna Convention treaties.
Treaties are, under the US Constitution, the law of the land. There is no conflict between US Constitutional Law and an international treaty, as clearly spelled out IN THE US CONSTITUTION.
~ dirty link, but it was at the top of Google so sue me
Well, if your intentions are good. The intention to pass some guy over to the Algerians who will then slice his nuts with a razor isn’t exactly a good intention. The intention to reduce racial discrimination or to improve the country’s actions with respect to human rights is good. If we break a few constitutional textual eggs to make an omelet, so what? You guys think the cultural side of things matters more than formalities and often point out that places in Latin America have constitutions like ours, and look where that gets them. I sort of agree with that and don’t worry about the formal rules as much as the ends.
I don’t really see what is so radical about the United States conforming to international law that it helps to produce and international bodies that it helps to create. The people who are opposed to his are mostly right-wingers who subscribe to a "we don’t need your stinkin’ laws and we’ll do whatever the fuck we want" view of international relations. The fact that approximately 24% of Americans adhere to this viewpoint does not meant that appointing someone who does not, as most of us don’t, should be a matter of great controversy or discussion. Also, opponents of Koh are hard to take seriously when they stake their opposition on silly falsehoods.
No matter what he might have said, up to and including: "kittens, yum!" calling the Dean of Yale Law an anti-establishment candidate makes Baby Jeebus cry. It’s akin to calling the Queen an anti-monarchist. And not just Elizabeth, that goes for any Queen, up to and including Freddie Mercury.
I gotta go with Xanthippas. If you’re against the Supreme Court conforming our laws to international law norms generally, you’re probably a bad person to begin with. There are some problems with picking which international law norms to use but I think that’s why we put law professors and appellate judges on the Supreme Court, to do the picking for us. They know a lot more than we do about what will and won’t work. That’s why they’re the judges. Well that, big campaign donations and strong ties to various senators, but nobody’s perfect.
These people seem to know what they’re talking about & they’re very pro-Koh:
@AustinRoth: Shorter AustinRoth: My butthurt, let me show you it.
(No, I don’t care what he thinks. I’ve seen him be an obtuse, disingenuous ass too many times on other discussion boards.)
rachel – you mean like when I tell obnoxious little cunts like yourself to go get gang-raped by a group of bikers with razor-knives?
Or was that too obtuse for you, too?
@AustinRoth: Wow from whining liar to flaming misogynist in under thirty minutes; I didn’t see that coming.
Oh, wait. I did.
(This is part of why I skip over his comments on those other boards he infests, y’all.)