The Corner

More Whelan on Koh

If you haven’t already done so — and even if you have — you should make your way over to Bench Memos for more of Ed Whelan’s invaluable series on Harold Koh’s transnationalist jurisprudence (“transnationalist,” as Ed points out, is Dean Koh’s own descriptive — as some of Ed’s, er, academic critics would know if they actually read the posts before attacking them). 

Today, Ed turns to the crucial issue of treaties and whether they should be, as the leagle-beagles say, “self-executing” — simply stated, that means enforceable by courts as rights that belong to individual people (as opposed to the traditional understanding, which is that treaties are compacts between sovereign states that create no judicially enforceable individual rights — treaties disputes and violations, instead, are resolved diplomatically between governments).  The Supreme Court gave us a taste of a brave new world in the 2006 Hamdan case, when it treated Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions as creating judicially enforceable rights for enemy combatants in U.S. courts.  (The Geneva Conventions actually say that alleged violations are supposed to be resolved by a diplomatic process; I doubt they’d ever have been signed or ratified if it had been thought they were creating enemy lawfare rights.)  Once you become familiar with some of the terms of treaties the Left would like us to ratify — a Leftist wish-list that would never be democratically enacted by the American people – you realize how fundamentally Koh would change American society.

Ed’s post contains links to all the posts in his Koh series.  In addition, Ed notes in a second post today some refreshing commentary at Opinio Juris (a very fine international-law site) from Julian Ku and Kevin John Heller, a pair of thoughtful academics (i.e., hardly raving right-wingers).  Professors Ku and Heller acknowledge that Ed has raised serious substantive issues and they merit serious response — and Julian even proposes some questions he’d like to see Dean Koh asked.  That is a call for the kind of informed debate one wishes was the rule rather than the rare exception.

Most Popular

History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More