The Corner

Senate Panel Passes Koh

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Harold Koh’s nomination as State Department Legal Advisor on a 12-5 vote Tuesday, with Dick Lugar being his only Republican vote. (Ed Whelan and John Fonte have written on Koh for NRO.) I’m past being surprised by Lugar, but this case really is different. Koh’s not just another lefty Obama nominee that conservatives disagree with — as Frank Gaffney has pointed out, Koh’s rejection of the legal primacy of the Constitution means he will take the oath of office with his fingers crossed behind his back. Koh goes beyond the post-American temperament that’s widespread in elite circles (and not just on the Left) to embrace a formal post-Americanism, an institutionalized post-Americanism, that is the antithesis of constitutional government. I’m sure the full Senate will end up confirming him, but any senator who votes for him will be violating his own oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

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