Julian Ku has a series of questions Harold Koh should have to answer before he is confirmed. I generally believe the Senate should be deferential to a President's nominees, but I also believe that the confirmation process should serve to inform the public about the type of administration a President is putting together. So I hope some Senator asks Koh these questions, and I look forward to hearing the answers.
Newsweek features an essay by Stuart Taylor and Evan Thomas previewing the debate over the nomination of Harold Koh to the State Department and the broader question of the proper use of foreign and international law in U.S. courts. As the article notes, Koh is a highly regarded academic, at the top of his field. He is "well within the mainstream of the academic establishment at elite law schools like Yale—but the mainstream runs pretty far to the left." And this is particularly true in the field of international law. As I've said before, I think the President is entitled to name as his advisors those who share his views and policy agenda. But I also think Koh's stated positions on various issues, from the legality of the Iraq War to the relevance of international law to whether the death penalty is constitutional, could make for an interesting confirmation hearing.