Thursday, May 21, 2009

Harold Koh's vision

Harald Koh, the nominee for State Department legal adviser, is a big believer in importing (he calls it 'downloading') international norms into domestic U.S. law. And where do these international norms come from? Well, they're created by transnational networks, consisting of governments and groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Koh is essentially saying that he prefers to rely on other governments, human rights organizations, and international organizations like the UN to protect human rights. The U.S. Constitution, on the other hand, makes it the duty of the U.S. government to protect the rights of its citizens (hint: that's what the Bill of Rights is all about).

So who are these other governments who do a better job? Are they perchance members of the UN Human Rights Council, notorious for its failure to defend human rights in places like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Belarus or Sudan? Koh has also said he would consider implementing portions of sharia law in the United States, so presumably he is open to ideas from all around the world.

The good news is that Koh is not being considered for a slot on the Supreme Court. But he can still do a lot of mischief at State. (Thanks to CNS News.)

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