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April 09, 2009

Defending Koh
Posted by Michael Cohen

It seems that some conservatives have gotten themselves in quite a tizzy about the nomination of Harold Koh to be the top lawyer at the State Department. The criticism, as best I understand it, is that Koh wants to replace American jurisprudence with not only international law, but "the favored policies of Europe’s leftist elites."

Trust me, I only wish I was making this up. It seems the very fact that Koh sees value in having American judges occasionally consider international is his most glaring sin, but really I think this is the sort of dangerous nativist rhetoric that is gathering steam among some conservatives - a point I made a few days ago in Politico.

I won't personally wade too deep into this because it is being well-covered by others. But, I recommend checking out Publius over at Obsidian Wings, who has been all over this and at Undiplomatic, Charles Brown is firing up the pro-Koh bandwagon.


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Koh’s innovation was to argue that “transnational legal process” plays a role too. Essentially, the idea is that various interactions among various diverse parties can create norms that are eventually internalized by various institutional actors

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