Skip to comments.Symptom of a Constitutional Disease
Posted on 04/02/2009 9:01:20 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob
On special occasions, I wear a red silk tie printed with 56 signatures, all but one of them in black; the featured one in white is Th. Jefferson. The names are, of course, the signers of the Declaration of Independence. When asked, I tell folks I practice law for a bunch of dead guys. They pay me nothing. But it is an honor to represent them, especially when it reaches into the Supreme Court.
That brings me to President Obamas nomination of Harold Koh, Dean of Yale Law School, as Legal Advisor to the State Department. This nomination is a symptom of a constitutional disease that will cause great, and possibly fatal, damage to our Constitution in the next four years.
That is a bold and harsh charge. Here is the proof:
Dean Koh has repeatedly written and said that interpretation and application of the US Constitution should be guided or influenced by the laws and judicial decisions of other nations. There is no doubt on this. As they say hereabouts, hes said this in front of God and everybody.
Look at his position first from a practical standpoint. The United Nations has 192 member nations. Of those, a majority are dictatorships of some kind. And of that majority, a majority are barbaric states which claim and exercise the right to execute citizens on the spot for their politics, their religions, their sex, or their objections to the current administration.
If one takes a consensus from this motley crew, there are many conclusions that are the polar opposite of the principles in American government. These include democratic elections, freedom of the press, non-discrimination between citizens based on religion, politics, or sex.
Does the United States do a perfect job of carrying out these principles? Of course not. We have amendments in the Constitution that are monuments to improvement of our efforts. However, we are light years ahead of the majority of the worlds governments, whose constitutions contain deliberate continuations of censorship, discrimination, and restriction (or elimination) of free elections.
Harold Koh wants to use this gaggle of bad governments as a template for American judicial decisions because he seeks to avoid American law and American legislatures who have not made the right decisions in areas he personally favors, such as abolition of the death penalty. He talks law, but hes really just a politician.
His legal conclusions are even more dangerous than just that. They are so dangerous they make me fear for the Constitution, fear the results of four years of President Obama, and ashamed of my degree from Yale. Heres why:
The Constitution in its text says that it is the supreme Law. Madison, Hamilton and Jay, in The Federalist, patiently explained why the Constitution had to be superior to all other sources of law. As Hamilton wrote in the Federalist No, 33, this clause only declares a truth, which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a federal government.
As George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address to the American People, the Constitution is sacredly obligatory upon all until changed by the authentic act of the whole people. By that he meant amendment through use of Article V, through Congress and the state legislatures.
So, Dean Koh is attacking the Constitution itself. He is also attacking the Declaration of Independence, which declares that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. By trying to change the Constitution without using Article V, Koh is attacking the fundamental principle of American government, control of our own government.
It is appalling that such a man would ever be appointed to lead any American law school. Since his politics control his legal principles, like many other appointees in the Obama Administration, he shows that Administration is a continuing danger to the Constitution itself.
Either Koh is an illiterate who has not read the Constitution and the Federalist, or he is a bald-faced liar when he talks about this subject. His resume indicates that he can read, so I conclude that he is a liar.
The Obama Administration proposes to put him in the second-most dangerous spot for his constitutional ignorance, at the State Department. The worst place would be as a new Justice on the Supreme Court. It looks like this President is prepared to find and appoint another Koh when, inevitably, such a vacancy occurs.
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About the Author: John Armor practiced law in the Supreme Court for 33 years. He now lives on the Eastern Continental Divide in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
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John . Billybob
I wasn’t aware Jefferson had signed the DoI! :)
This is, again, proof that the destruction of our country is prime in our Presidents mind. A socialist and communist does not care about our Constitution.
bump for later
A socialist and communist does not care about our Constitution.
Obama has made that clear.
Watching this assault on our nation makes me want to cry, and then it makes me mad enough to lock & load. And I am old enough to have overcome those impulses.
They care not at all about the written Constitution.
Well put. There have been a few people pointing out who Koh is, but of course the MSM is silent or supportive, and I’m not sure whether the Republican leadership has a clue how important this appointment is. They must oppose it, on precisely the grounds you lay out.
I would add that Obama himself is trained as, and considers himself, an expert in Constitutional Law. That’s what he taught at Chicago Circle as a perennial instructor. But evidently he studied the Constitution in order to overturn it.
He is also on record as saying that the Warren Court didn’t go far enough to amend the Constitution, or whatever it is that liberals think they did in pretending that it is a “living document.” In particular, Obama said that “the Supreme Court never ventured into issues of redistribution of wealth” or “economic justice.” It failed to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
[I quote from the latest Phyllis Schafly Report, but have read Obama’s whole statement elsewhere.]
In other words, one of Obama’s central intentions is to change the Constitution into a document that is basically Communist. That is, of course, entirely incompatible with the freedoms and the rule of law that the Constitution has given us, and that we take for granted.
Anyone with any realizing sense knows that "Democrats" aren't democratic and "liberals" are opposed to liberty.
Our politics actually boils down to the same division that was found in ancient Greece - the Sophists and the Philosophers. The Sophists claimed wisdom, and argued from the assumption that they had it.
The Philosophers eschewed any claim of superior wisdom, making the modest claim that they loved wisdom - and were open to facts and argument in order to gain more of it.
We have our "liberals" and our "conservatives." "Liberals" are anointed with that favorable label by journalists who claim to be objective. Unless there is such a thing as "unwise objectivity," journalists are claiming to be wise, and are arguing from that assumption that anyone who disagrees with journalists are stupid and/or evil. Journalists call people who disagree with journalists "conservative" because that is a negative label in America, since liberty is not conservative. Just as "liberals" are actually sophists, "conservatives" are actually philosophers who limit themselves pretty strictly to facts and logic (they have to, since journalists are so readily able to embarrass them over any failures to be logical and factual).
To have a "real" civil war, you have to have an issue which can split the Army (otherwise, it wouldn't be a war - just a bunch of rebels getting slaughtered, or a bloodless military coup).
This is just such an issue. Officers could decide, in good faith, that Obama's perfectly legal executive agreements or treaties did in fact supercede other constitutional provisions (Supreme Law, anything in this Constitution notwithstanding), or they could follow the logic of Reid v. Covert (1957) and come down on the other side.
Obama's appointment of people such as Koh shows where he is heading. He will have willing foreign partners who will seek our overthrow by treaty. He MAY have 67 cowards in the Senate to go along.
They are not interested in government having just powers, just power.<p.I am rapidly becoming convinced they will do whatever the people will permit, regardless of the legality thereof.