Dulles, Virginia – In this brief, but dramatic reign of Barack Obama, America is, regrettably, entering a post-Constitution phase of our Republic. Four years hence, will “We the People” have the influence in our government that we once did? It’s not looking good. Congress — playing with things such as taxing bonuses paid to bankers — is so unconcerned with the Constitution one wonders if they’ve read the prohibition of Bills of Attainder and ex post facto laws. Obama’s Solicitor General and Attorney General are trying to limit Americans’ rights under the First and Second Amendments, respectively. Private industry has been dramatically redefined. Domestically, the people have little say.
In foreign policy however, President Obama welcomes the input of citizens — foreign citizens, that is. This is where the real danger to our Constitution lies — with globalists who will place America’s fate in foreign hands. It’s the outsourcing of our independence — and it’s about to get worse.
Enter Harold Koh, Dean of Yale Law School, until he was recently nominated by the President to be the State Department’s Legal Advisor. Those who thought they knew all the reasons to detest lawyers haven’t met Harold Koh.
Professor Koh is a legal warrior of the far left and a cancer on American sovereignty. He is a committed transnationalist who, in his own words, “believe[s] in and promote[s] the blending of international and domestic law.” It is the responsibility of American courts, Koh maintains, to “promote the development of a global legal system.”
In Mr. Koh’s mind, our Constitution is but a footnote in a larger, more relevant body of law established and adjudicated by foreign governments, international institutions, the United Nations, and the World Court. This professor, who is about to become America’s lawyer, places more trust in legal theories created in cafe conversations than in the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. Koh’s international outlook mirrors Obama’s domestic philosophy — create equality by limiting and punishing the best and the brightest. His writings outline his belief that America can only be as good as other nations allow us to be.
For example, in a 2002 essay, Koh expressed his opposition to America’s involvement in Iraq by stating that the U.S. should not get involved “without explicit United Nations authorization.” Such notions are limited in their impact when expressed by an Ivory Tower academic. When advocated by the top legal advisor at the State Department, however, they become American policy and have real and dangerous consequences for our national security.
Not only does Koh want the Oil-for-Food Gang determining America’s national security interests, he urges “constructive engagement” with the International Criminal Court (ICC), an unaccountable body that he views as a vital component of a “post-Cold War global justice system.” Toward that end, he advocates sharing information and U.S. intelligence with the ICC; appointing a special envoy to the Court; participating in ICC review conferences; and repealing provisions of the American Servicemembers Protection Act, which was adopted to defend U.S. troops from ICC indictment and prosecution.
Last year Koh argued that the new Secretary of State — the person he might soon be advising — “should withdraw the Bush Administration’s May 2002 letter to the United Nations” which removed Bill Clinton’s signature from the ICC treaty. Each of these steps, Koh argues, “pave the way for eventual U.S. ratification of the Rome Treaty” for the International Criminal Court.
As the Court was created to hear cases involving war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, Americans who are most vulnerable to the ICC’s political whims and show trials are high ranking government officials and our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Were legitimate charges ever to surface against U.S. troops, ICC adherents would find the Uniform Code of Military Justice lacking. They believe America’s system of jurisprudence is unable to properly dispose of such cases. They would find it helpful to appeal Supreme Court decisions with which they disagree to a “higher authority.”
Don’t think it won’t happen. Recently, the hostility of international ambulance chasers resulted in a Spanish court entertaining a complaint against six Bush administration officials for the advice they provided the President on matters related to Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Spanish court claims “universal jurisdiction,” meaning its authority knows no bounds. The ICC operates in a similar capacity. Recently, the ICC issued, and is considering, indictments on individuals of nations which are not a party to the Court.
This is the international law to which Professor Koh subscribes — an adherence to multiple and changing standards in an effort to criminalize conservatism. Koh’s views are ruinous to American sovereignty and a danger to U.S. servicemembers. His nomination as State Department Legal Advisor must be defeated before he can put his words into action.