Bowing To Foreign Laws And Statutes........

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Sun May 31 23:31:30 MDT 2009


         [Reading this makes me INCREDIBLY angry!!! - JAQ:]



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Harold Koh Is Too Dangerous for America
May 29, 2009 by Phyllis Schlafly
Does Barack Obama really want to make Americans subject to foreign law and 
courts? That is the question Senators should ask when they vote on his 
nomination of Harold Hongju Koh, former dean of the Yale Law School, to be 
the top lawyer at the State Department.

Koh is encumbered by a long paper trail that proves he is eager to use 
foreign and international law to interpret American law. He calls himself a 
transnationalist, which means wanting U.S. courts to "domesticate" foreign 
and international law, i.e., integrate it into U.S. domestic law binding on 
U.S. citizens.

Koh wants to put the United States under a global legal system that would 
diminish our "distinctive rights culture" such as our broad speech and 
religion rights, due process and trial by jury. Koh complains that our 
First Amendment gives "protections for speech and religion ... far greater 
emphasis and judicial protection in America than in Europe or Asia."

Yes, our Constitution does give individuals more rights and freedom than 
any other country, and we Americans like those rights and freedoms. But Koh 
thinks we should bow to foreign rules and court decisions, and to United 
Nations treaties whether or not we have ratified them.

The State Department's chief lawyer is not just any lawyer. He becomes the 
voice of the United States on international legal issues such as the 
negotiation and U.S. interpretation of treaties and UN pronouncements.

Importing treaties and foreign law into American law could impose lots of 
rulings that the American people don't want, such as approval of same-sex 
marriage, unlimited abortion, legalized prostitution, and abolition of the 
death penalty. This would be a broadside assault on American sovereignty.

Foreign law is fundamentally different from American law. Whereas our 
Constitution sets forth limited governmental powers and recognizes broad 
individual rights against government (such as freedom of religion and 
speech), European constitutions proclaim entitlements to government 
services such as education, health care, maternity leave, housing and 
environmental protection.

We certainly don't want to import law from foreign countries that recognize 
polygamy, arranged marriages between cousins, so-called honor killings of 
women who reject such arrangements, cutting off hands as punishment for 
theft, stoning women to death as punishment for adultery, and prohibiting 
the private ownership of guns.

As Judge Robert Bork has written, international law is really not law as 
Americans understand the term; it is just international politics. Not 
passed by any legislature, international law is often written ex post facto 
and administered by foreign or UN bureaucrats pretending to be judges.

Unfortunately, Harold Koh's views are not unique among leftwing lawyers or 
even among Supreme Court justices, and it's long past time for us to rise 
up and put an end to this un-American nonsense. The confirmation of Koh 
would give legal support to the Supreme Court justices who have already 
said they favor using foreign law.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who calls himself a "comparativist," suggested in a 
dissent in Knight v. Florida that it was "useful" to consider court 
decisions in India, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe on allowable delays of execution. 
Zimbabwe may have much experience with executions, but we don't need its 
guidance about due process.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making speeches advising lawyers that 
"your perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world. . . . 
Our island or lone ranger mentality is beginning to change."

While still on the High Court, Sandra Day O'Connor told a Georgetown 
University audience that international law "is vital if judges are to 
faithfully discharge their duties. . . . International law is a help in our 
search for a more peaceful world."

Even Justice Anthony Kennedy invoked foreign "authorities" when he couldn't 
find any language in the U.S. Constitution to justify overturning the Texas 
sodomy law in 2003. His decision cited non-American sources including a 
committee advising the British Parliament, decisions of the European Court 
of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, a brief filed by 
former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and "other 
nations, too."

Kennedy emphasized the "values we share with a wider civilization." In 
fact, most other countries do not share American values, and we certainly 
do not want to share theirs.

During his confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John G. Roberts pointed out 
a particular danger of using foreign law. He said that reliance on foreign 
law wrongly "expands the discretion of the judge" and substitutes a judge's 
"personal preferences" for the U.S. Constitution.

Citing foreign law gives a veneer of respectability to liberals who espouse 
the "living Constitution" heresy and want to change it without obtaining 
the approval of the American people through the amendment or legislative 
processes.

The Senate should reject the nomination of Harold Koh. Then, the Senate 
should require all judicial nominees to proclaim their adherence to the 
U.S. Constitution as written, and their rejection of the use of foreign or 
international law to interpret American law.
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