The Obama administration continues to populate key legal positions with leftist lawyers and, especially, law professors. The selection of Harold Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, to be the State Department’s legal advisor is the latest example, and among the most disconcerting.
As Ed Whelan has demonstrated in a series of posts, Koh’s “transnationalist legal views threaten fundamental American principles of representative government.” Moreover, “Koh would be particularly well positioned as State Department legal adviser to implement his views and to inflict severe and lasting damage.”
Ed defines “transnationalism” in the legal context as the view that challenges the traditional American understanding that international and domestic law are distinct, and that the United States determines for itself through its political branches when and to what extent international law is incorporated into its legal system, and the status of international law in the domestic system is determined by domestic law. Ed explains that “transnationalists aim in particular to use American courts to import international law to override the policies adopted through the processes of representative government.”