The Washington Independent‘s David Weigel has a very fair piece on conservative efforts to educate the public about State Department legal advisor nominee Harold Koh’s “transnationalist” legal beliefs. Weigel quotes National Review’s Ed Whelan: “What judicial transnationalism is really all about is depriving American citizens of their powers of representative government by selectively imposing on them the favored policies of Europe’s leftist elites.”
Also engaging Koh’s substantive views, former Koh student Julian Ku who has identified 10 Questions for Koh at Opinio Juris, including:
2) You have argued in your writings that transnational legal processes can and should be used to develop and eventually “bring international law home” to have binding force within the U.S. legal system. Do you think it is appropriate as Legal Advisor to support such efforts to use litigation to incorporate international legal norms within U.S. law?
4) You have written vigorously in defense of the view that customary international law has the status of federal common law within the U.S. legal system. Do you therefore also believe that the President has the power to invoke CIL to preempt state law, as some scholars have suggested?
10) Recently, universal jurisdiction has been invoked in Spain to potentially prosecute six officials from the Bush administration for giving legal advice that allegedly sanctioned torture. Universal jurisdiction has also been the basis for or potential prosecutions of Israeli officials involved in military operations in the Gaza Strip. Given your past advocacy of transnational legal processes and the invocation of universal jurisdiction in the United States under the Alien Tort Statute, do you believe it is appropriate for Spain to open that investigation into U.S. officials? At what point would it be appropriate for the United States to protest such an investigation?