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Koh Writings



Setting the World Right, Yale Law Journal, 2006

A World Drowning in Guns, 71 Fordham Law Review 2333 (2003);

Is International Law Really State Law? 111 Harvard Law Review 1824 (1998);

On American Exceptionalism, 55 Stanford Law Review 1479 (2003);

The 1998 Frankel Lecture: Bringing International Law Home, 35 Houston Law Review 623 (1998);

International Law as Part of Our Law, 98 American Journal of International Law 43 (2004);

Why Transnational Law Matters, 24 Penn State International Law Review 745 (2006)

Testimony and prepared answers to Congressional queries:

Statement Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding
The 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the Promotion of Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy.  Sample quote (emphasis added for moral equivalency analysis between Iran and the U.S.):

This year, Iranian government shut down two independent newspapers and blocked access to many media internet sites. Yet the U.S. saber-rattling approach has blunted its ability to gain human rights leverage. In criticizing Iran for its “severe restriction of the right of citizens to change their government peacefully,” the report uses stronger language than is found in the reports for Syria and Saudi Arabia, which have arguably similar levels of restrictions on the right to change the government. Moreover, our criticism of Iranian “Security forces [who] monitored the social activities of citizens, entered homes and offices, monitored telephone conversations, and opened mail without court authorization,” is blunted by their ability to point to our own National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) sustained program of secret, unreviewed, warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens and residents.34 Nor are we on strong footing attacking Iran for “illegal detentions” when similar charges can be and have been lodged against our own government. 35

Statement before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary regarding
Wartime Executive Power and the National Security Agency’s Surveillance

Answers to 5/05/09 questions from Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC):

After reading several of Mr. Koh’s articles and meeting with him in my office, I am particularly concerned about the role he sees for international law when making and interpreting U.S. laws and how they apply to the Department of State. His judicial philosophy suggests that he believes international law supersedes U.S. federal law, and that the Constitution should be just one of many guide posts for the American legal system. I fear Mr. Koh’s positions could undermine American sovereignty and the unique role the United States plays in the world.   After the hearing last week, I submitted a number of additional “Questions for the Record” for Mr. Koh in order to more fully understand his positions on these issues. I thought you may want to see Mr. Koh’s responses. They are posted here.

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