Friday, April 24, 2009

Harold Koh

My Letter to the Editor of the Yale Alumni Magazine today. Let's see if they publish it!

April 24, 2009

Dear Editors,

Contrary to the implication of your article, one does not have to rely on hearsay from a talk in a Greenwich home to conclude that Professor Koh is a “radical” who believes that “the distinctions between U.S. and international law should vanish. . . .” One can simply rely on his published work in, among other places, the Yale Law Review. Here’s a quote from the American Journal of International Law: "domestic courts must play a key role in coordinating U.S. domestic constitutional rules with rules of foreign and international law, not simply to promote American aims, but to advance the broader development of a well-functioning international judicial system."

Professor Koh would subvert the Supremacy Clause of our constitution. His ideas represent a dangerous affront to the sovereignty of our citizens. Furthermore, any transnationalist legal framework is necessarily arbitrary, since judges would presumably apply only foreign laws which they deem worthy, while ignoring others. That is not a legal framework at all, but rather an excuse to impose by judicial fiat that which should properly be left to the legislative branch.

It’s one thing to have someone like Harold Koh as the dean of Yale Law School – I almost expect as much. It’s much more troubling, however, to have him nominated to be the top legal expert at the State Department. Unfortunately, I don’t think the American public really understands what’s at stake.

Matthew Finlay
Far Hills, NJ
Saybrook ‘90

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