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Thread: Harold Koh Was Confirmed Yesterday

  1. #1
    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Palmer, AK

    Angry Harold Koh Was Confirmed Yesterday

    Friday, June 26, 2009

    It's a sad day as we go on hoping it will go away - The Senate confirmed this week, by a vote of 62-35, a gun banner that stays up at night thinking of ways to impose more gun control upon American citizens.
    Harold Koh is that gun grabber, and he was confirmed yesterday to be the Legal Adviser at the State Department.
    Wednesday, Senate Republicans attempted to kill the Koh nomination with a filibuster -- until eight of them crossed the aisle to help Democrats confirm Koh.
    The back-stabbing Senators are: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and George Voinovich (R-OH).
    Once the filibuster was thwarted, Koh's nomination passed easily. The vote on final passage can be viewed at:

    Here is the Alaska Vote, as I bet you could already guess!
    Begich (D-AK), Yea
    Murkowski (R-AK), Nay

    But, this is America and the constitution gives me the right for my guns…We already won that debate. I hate to tell you this but the person that gave the deciding vote retired and his seat is now open!

    Justice David Souter was given a thumbs up by Barrack Obama and that vote would have went the other way if Souter was a Supreme Court Justice!

    I strongly recommend you and your family get involved with your state Rep (Dem or Rep)...Heck we can email them now. You can bet if Souter becomes a Supreme Court Justice the 2nd amendment will come up again and we will come out on the loosing end...Learn about these people.

    This is really more serious then you may believe - Buy by the time the damage is done we will be standing around saying...What the heck happened? They can’t do that - But they did! And all of the "they can have them from my cold dead fingers" as you reach for another beer - It will be already done before you can say we shouldn’t have “voted for change" we should have voted for better (my opinion).

    Please, this is just a call to pass it on and write your reps. The reason I started this post this is not to start a big debate on politics...It just a outcry to become involved! England, Germany, and Australia though “it can't happen, no way, not us, they can't do it! Sound familiar?

    Let's try to hold back the anti gun tide...It is rising and we need to get it in check before the levy breaks!

    Very Respectfully,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Southwest Alaska


    What do you expect from a communist party tool?

    And yesterday he was "meeting" with obamanation's pick for SCOTUS and he said he was concerned about her views on the 2nd. Just another red tool.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  3. #3
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    Default What citations...

    do you have, bird-dog, that Harold Koh, is indeed, Anti 2nd Amendment?

  4. #4
    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Palmer, AK

    Exclamation Just Hit Search and You Will Find----

    (a little info that took a second to find and there is plenty more)

    By Dave Kopel

    America's 1st Freedom, July 2009

    Do you think that American gun laws should be more like those of other, more restrictive countries? Would you like the United Nations to help determine the meaning of the Second Amendment?

    If so, then your man of the hour has arrived. His name is Harold Koh.

    Harold Hongju Koh is dean of the Yale Law School. By all accounts, he is brilliant, personable and well liked. And he has been nominated for the position of legal adviser to the United States Department of State.

    The position involves far more than providing behind-the-scenes legal counsel to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The legal adviser formulates and presents the position of the United States globally on legal issues, including negotiating, drafting and deciding the meaning of treaties and United Nations resolutions; representing the United States in international organizations and courts; and interpreting U.S. policies on international law.

    As Koh himself has pointed out, the “skill and maneuvering of particular well-positioned individuals … serving as key institutional chokepoints” can tremendously influence America’s relation with international law. The position of State Department legal adviser is perhaps the most powerful of all such positions.

    Accordingly, the legal adviser ought to be a strong defender of American rights, interests and liberties against foreign encroachment. But Koh has made it very clear that his aim is just the opposite: to undermine and constrict those rights, including the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Writing in the Stanford Law Review about “the most problematic face of American exceptionalism,” the type that Koh ranked highest in “order of ascending opprobrium,” he complained that the United States did not “obey global norms.” Among his examples was that of “claiming a Second Amendment exclusion from a proposed global ban on the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons.”

    His views on gun policy are elaborated in A World Drowning in Guns, a speech published in the Fordham Law Review in 2003. In that speech, Koh declared, “If we really do care about human rights, we have to do something about the guns.” That “something” is “a global system of effective controls on small arms.”

    In that speech Koh also expressed his disappointment that the 2001 United Nations gun control conference had not led to a legally binding document. Koh placed much of the blame on John Bolton, who, in representing the United States at the U.N., had declared his opposition to restraining the lawful trade in firearms; subsidizing anti-gun advocacy; limiting arms sales only to governments; and any final document which, in Bolton’s words, “contains measures abrogating the constitutional right to bear arms.”

    Koh admitted, “We are a long way from persuading governments to accept a flat ban on the trade of legal arms.” He urged that the next steps be the creation of international arms registries; giving non-governmental organizations—e.g., the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)—power to monitor government compliance with international gun control; and “stronger domestic regulation.” (Emphasis in original for both quotes.)

    As a mechanism for implementing the international gun control agenda, Koh pointed to the Organization of American States (OAS) arms control treaty. In April, President Obama announced that he would push for U.S. Senate ratification of that treaty. The OAS treaty needs to be supplemented, Koh said, with “supply-side controls in the United States.” As an example, he pointed to the “particularly intriguing idea” of “promoting ‘smart’ or perishable ammunition.” That is, “bullets that would degrade and become unusable over time.”

    American legal scholars were already being helpful, Koh explained: First, they were producing constitutional research to rebut John Bolton’s view of the Second Amendment. Second, their empirical research was refuting the notion “that more guns produce less crime in American society.” Instead, according to Koh, the research showed that “more guns have been associated with more, rather than less, crime.”

    He urged the audience not to believe that it was unrealistic to achieve the goal of “harmonizing our own national approach with those of other countries.”

    In concluding the speech, Koh recalled that after he left the State Department in 2001, having served as President Clinton’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, he felt there had been “too much work left undone. After a few sleepless nights, I wrote for myself a list of issues on which I needed to do more in the years ahead. One of those issues was global regulation of small arms.”

    How can Koh and the Obama administration implement their vision of global gun control?

    Hofstra University Law Professor Julian Ku writes that Koh has “argued for a ‘Constitutional Charming Betsy Canon’ that would guide courts in the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.” (See Ku’s April 9 entry on the law professor weblog

    In the 1804 U.S. Supreme Court case of Murray v. Schooner Charming Betsy, Chief Justice Marshall wrote, “an act of Congress ought never to be construed to violate the law of nations, if any other possible construction remains.”

    The Charming Betsy canon (rule of legal construction) has been applied by many American courts ever since. But to elevate Charming Betsy to a canon of constitutional construction would mean that whenever there is ambiguity, the Constitution should be construed to match international law.

    Thus, the Constitution would be subservient to international law, since almost every constitutional case that reaches the Supreme Court involves some kind of ambiguity: What kind of punishment is “cruel and unusual”? What searches and seizures are “unreasonable”? Does the protection of “the freedom of speech” include “hate speech”? If not, does “hate speech” include, as some people have asserted, the speech of the National Rifle Association, Ann Coulter or Ted Nugent? What kind of “Arms” are encompassed in the Second Amendment, and what kinds of controls amount to the right being “infringed”?

    Koh believes that the Supreme Court “must play a key role in coordinating U.S. domestic constitutional rules with rules of foreign and international law.” The State Department legal adviser has traditionally played a leading role in shaping the U.S. government’s arguments before the Supreme Court regarding international law.

    Koh’s agenda includes constricting the First Amendment, as well as the Second. In the Stanford article, Koh wrote: “Our exceptional free speech tradition can cause problems abroad, as, for example, may occur when hate speech is disseminated over the Internet. In my view, however, our Supreme Court can moderate these conflicts by applying more consistently the transnationalist approach to judicial interpretation.”

    Not coincidentally, the four Supreme Court justices who dissented in D.C. v. Heller are already strong advocates of using foreign law to determine the meaning of the American Constitution. In a 2006 article for the Penn State Law Review, Koh praises what he calls the court’s “transnationalist faction” and derides “the nationalist faction.” Just one appointment to the Supreme Court could put the transnationalists firmly in control.

    Of course, what cannot be accomplished directly through a Supreme Court ruling can be done in other ways. In 2002, President George W. Bush withdrew the U.S. signature from the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty because he did not want American citizens to be subject to a court whose rules for fairness and due process are vastly below American constitutional standards. So Koh recommended that crafty ICC advocates find ways to “provoke interactions between the United States government and the ICC”—such as convincing the U.S. to supply evidence in an ICC case. Then, in Koh’s words, the U.S. cooperation with the ICC “could be used to undermine” the president’s withdrawal from the treaty. The ICC could claim that the U.S. cooperation has served to “constitute a de facto repudiation” of the “act of unsignature.” Then, the ICC could assert that it has jurisdiction to prosecute American citizens.

    The proposed ICC ploy is one example of Koh’s urging “American lawyers, scholars and activists” to “trigger a transnational legal process,” of “transnational interactions” that will “generate legal interpretations that can in turn be internalized into the domestic law of even resistant nation-states.”

    In the context of the right to arms, that “resistant nation-state” would seem to be the United States of America.

    Further, Koh wants “human rights advocates” to litigate “not just in domestic courts, but simultaneously before foreign and international arenas.” Remember, in Koh’s view, anti-gun advocacy is a very important form of human rights advocacy. Might Hillary Clinton’s State Department become a behind-the-scenes promoter of international anti-gun lawsuits—just as her husband’s administration worked behind the scenes to promote anti-gun lawsuits in the United States?

    Advocacy groups on the outside can be aided by allies on the inside, as Koh explained in the Houston Law Review: “These governmental norm sponsors work inside bureaucracies and governmental structures to promote the same changes inside organized government that non-governmental norm entrepreneurs are urging from the outside.”

    Another weapon in Koh’s arsenal is what is called “customary international law.” That’s not as much fun to say as “Constitutional Charming Betsy Canon,” but it's just as important.

    One form of international law is “positive law,” which is created by written documents in the form of a law. Examples include treaties, bilateral agreements and so on.

    With origins long before wide-ranging international treaties became common, customary law has also been part of international law. Customary law arises from the common behavior of nations who believe that their actions are compelled by international law. For example, in the 18th century, “civilized” nations did not execute enemy soldiers who had been captured, nor did they arrest and imprison ambassadors from foreign nations, even if they were suspected of a crime.

    These customary practices were considered by the nations themselves to be legally mandatory, even though there were no applicable treaties about the laws of warfare or the immunities of diplomats. Thus, “customary law.”

    In a normal sense, customary law is defined by what nations actually do based on their beliefs about legal requirements. However, Koh and his fellow transnationalists have been hard at work to drastically expand customary law. For example, United Nations General Assembly resolutions have no legal force; they constitute nothing more than the opinion of the majority of the General Assembly. Likewise, pronouncements at meetings conducted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are not standard sources of customary international law.

    But the transnationalists are adept at cherry-picking miscellaneous items that have no legal force in themselves, bundling them together and adding a far-fetched interpretation of a barely-related clause in a couple of treaties, and declaring their product to be “customary international law.”

    Consequently, as State Department legal adviser, Koh could make a pronouncement that international law requires repressive gun controls. Among the sources he could cite is the United Nations Human Rights Council Subcommittee on Human Rights, which has already declared that there is no human right of self-defense, and that there is a mandatory international human right to extremely restrictive gun control. This right is supposedly derived, in part, from the “right to life” guaranteed by various human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the United States Senate has ratified.

    Now the final step: Koh contends that American courts must apply customary international law as part of federal common law. As a federal law, it would trump any arms rights protections in state constitutions and statutes.

    In the United States, there would be some judges who would not take Koh seriously, and others who would simply use his pronouncement to support an anti-gun result they wanted to achieve anyway. But there might be other judges who perhaps have little interest in the Second Amendment one way or the other, and who are cautious about ensuring that their decisions do not cause trouble for the United States abroad. These judges may be swayed by a State Department declaration that narrow interpretation of the right to arms is necessary to keep the United States from violating its international legal obligations.

    In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, Koh said that the Second Amendment had legal priority over international law. But this is a meaningless concession, since Koh’s objective is to make the interpretation of the meaning of the Second Amendment conform to the anti-gun, anti-self defense standards of the United Nations and the other transnationalists.

    Harold Koh aims to “bring international law home.” If he succeeds, the Second Amendment may become an outcast in its homeland.

    Editor’s Note:

    Further reading: Ed Whelen of the Ethics & Public Policy Center has written a superb multi-part series on Koh.

    Articles by Harold Koh:

    “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).
    This was just 1 quick cut and paste, there is pages on this man...But I'm not a Yale man. I'm a simple man who put in 21 years of service to our great country and sure hope we can keep out rights that were provided many years ago!

    Again, my point is in hope for others to become involved and write our Reps. I'm not a fan of legislation without representation...Even though I feel we are already there when we have the courts shaping the Constitution and its amendments - Then passing law without representation. Our only chance is to stop the nomination in these situations. Once these kind of items are decided in the Supreme Court we loose a standard that was once fought for "Legislation without Representation" The Supreme Court is not the place for our Constitutional rights and amendments to be dictated from...I believe in We the People not judge ????? presiding.


  5. #5
    Member northstar's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    ...tyranny advances...'s a few quotes that I think might be spot on the topic of discussion...

    As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilights that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.--Justice William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court (1939-75)

    The right of self-defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction......-- St. George Tucker, founding father, Revolutionary War hero, Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, and federal judge under President James Madison

    Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.--Patrick Henry

    Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.--Daniel Webster

    How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!--Samual Adams

    Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment in time, We must struggle to preserve it everyday. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.--Ronald Reagan

    A government that does not trust it's law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust.--James Madison

  6. #6

    Default Won't work

    Bird Dog,

    Like you, I had believed that writing our reps was really worthwhile, complaining, demanding and wringing our virtual hands to try and get them to move forward to help prevent the disassembly of the United States. Ain't gonna happen that way. This country, as many of us realize, is run by a pack of power hungry, self-involved nutjobs who believe that forwarding their agenda, their ideology, those that have one besides keeping power and collecting graft, is more important than the Constitution and the well-being of the people of the United States. Everything, everything they have done in the name of bettering this country has been smoke and mirrors, lies and subversive action to move their socialist beliefs forward. That lying, dishonest man in the White House is sending this country down the road to perdition and they are bulldozing as many of their policies as quickly as possible into place to keep us from being able to stop this madness, and no amount of letters and phone calls and E-mails will stop that. There aren't enough good people to enact a reversal of the changes. By time the 2010 elections are here, it will, in all likelihood, be too late, including our 2nd Amendment rights. That's okay, because I already feel like an outlaw in my own country. The only thing that will work would be to find valid reason to impeach Obama before it's too late. People laugh and deride the attempt to reveal the real birth certificate that proves he is not a natural citizen, as if it is some extremist rightwing b.s., but if it is alright, why doesn't he just show it and put all this behind him? Why is there a number of high-powered lawyers fighting the numerous lawsuits demanding he reveal where he was born. No, the only way to give this country a chance to heal and turn this madness around is impeachment, impeachment impeachment. Otherwise, have a nice day. Oh, yeah, for those of you who somehow have the stubborn unseeing belief that the "Anointed One" is still somehow good for this country, don't respond, as you are not capable of a rational discussion. I know, I've tried.
    Okay, now the moderator can delete or move this rant to a less viewed forum.

  7. #7
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    Anchorage, AK


    mauser.... before your post gets deleted or moved I just wanted to say I am right there with you. Only thing I would add is that this country has the government it deserves. The majority population's ignorance, stupidity, laziness and lack of courage is bringing our reign as a world leader to an abrupt end; socially, economically and eventually militarily. Its been accelerating for nearly two decades now. All you can do at this point is enjoy and take care of your friends and family, live honorably, enjoy each day God gives you and watch the lemmings run over the cliff.

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    The problem is, it isn't just the mindset of one man or one party that is taking away our freedoms. Both parties have failed the citizens of this country and they only thing they care about is forwarding their ideals and their careers.

  9. #9
    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Palmer, AK

    Angry Party Lines - We will be looking at only one USSA! Very Soon

    How true Paul H…There are no “Party Lines” any more! It is how can I best get my own while I can.

    We are quickly heading toward socialism (as if you didn’t know) and the will protect us – We will not need guns…We keep saying it can’t happen to us! No way, I will go down holding my weapon! Yea right! We can’t even gather to vote in a better President, Senator, House Rep, or even a better local or state government…and I say this for more them just us Alaskan’s

    Heck, we are doing the same thing to ourselves in the shooting community. Just stand back and look…We are eating each other like dogs instead of helping out one another. That is why we can’t get primers, powder, projectiles, brass, and loaded ammo prices are through the roof. Well you that are guilty can justify it any way you want but you are still part of the problem and not the fix.

    Just my opinion! And you already know what they say about them!

    Very Respectfully,

  10. #10
    Member Chechakonomo's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Anchorage, AK

    Default Believe what you see, not what you hear


    Great post, thanks for getting it started.

    You've all characterized these self important dolts who are in power correctly. They're in this for themselves - their agendas, their egos, and their personal sense of empowerment. The country is not even a factor in their thinking. It's all about THEM.

    Remember, it's only paranoia if they're not really out to get you. This is not paranoia, it's reality. bird-dog's right. If you think that the jokers in power aren't still steaming mad over the first gun ban's demise, or if you think they and their EU friends don't want you to be unarmed and defenseless against them, that is gullibility and naivety. Dangerous.

    If we accept the faulty thinking that it can't happenhere, they've already won. A year or two ago, the notion that this great country would elect an unproven, unqualified, undistinguished "Community Organizer" from Chicago by way of Indonesia would have been laughed at. But it happened, and it happened here.

    Don't believe what comes out of their mouths, because they're liars. Believe what you see them do. Watch and pay attention.
    NRA Life Member
    "Semper Fidelis, Semper Vigiles"

  11. #11
    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Palmer, AK

    Angry Heads in the Sand!

    Chechakonomo, right on!!
    We talk big and keep our head in the sand! The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia is a perfect example. I hate to say it, but all of the hard talk about "they can pry them from my cold dead fingers" was more like they can have them at the sheriffs’ office right from my warm perfectly working hands.
    Then we have the "why do you need that anyway crowd? The - I can understand the bans on the bad black guns with the big "Clips"...we don’t need them big 40 + shot things???!!! I hear that one all of the time or we don't need a 50 BMG...They make no sense. What can you do with that…Ask the next Australian or Brit you meet what we need these weapons for.
    I’m probably on the domestic terrorist watch list for stating my views (I hope not!)…But it’s past the time to pull our head out of the sand – It’s already happening! My whole point is we need to vote out the Reps, it doesn't matter what they call themselves, Dem, Rep, or any party the goes back on their promise’s to the people. They get in office and it all for one pocket and the rest for the other pocket.
    We need Reps in the house and senate that vote the peoples view not a government study that is so tainted or somebody telling us what is best for us and our country when we live in the city the are required to Rep…I go back to WE THE PEOPLE!!!!
    I will get off my soap box…God bless you, our leaders, and our country.
    Very Respectfully,


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