Possible Barack Obama Supreme Court Nominee Harold Koh Backs Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
November 7, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — When the time comes for Barack Obama to make his first selection for the Supreme Court, Harold Hongju Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, is one of the people on his short list. A Koh nomination would be a severe blow to the pro-life movement as he would assuredly vote to uphold Roe v. Wade.
During the campaign, so-called pro-life Catholic attorney Douglas Kmiec said Obama would want pro-abortion judges in the mold of Stephen Breyer and David Souter and mentioned Koh as a possible nominee.
But Piero A. Tozzi, of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, points out in a recent edition of the group’s Friday Fax publication that Koh is strongly pro-abortion.
Tozzi worries that Koh, as a Supreme Court justice, would use a new standard beyond the so-called privacy basis to justify keeping Roe and its ruling that unlimited abortions should be legal throughout pregnancy for any reason.
"A Koh nomination would revive debate over the importation of ‘transnational’ social norms on contentious issues like abortion," Tozzi writes.
Tozzi notes that Koh’s academic writings have redefined sovereignty as a nations capacity to participate in international affairs, and have blurred any distinctive national identity.
"Koh goes on to say that the way a nation exercises sovereignty responsibly is to accept all United Nations (UN) documents and the UN human rights review process," Tozzi writes.
With the United Nations, aided by a supportive Obama administration, possibly setting out to make abortion an international right and approving documents requiring countries across the globe to honor that right, a Koh appointment would make it that much harder to overturn Roe.
While the Supreme Court "took a step away from transnationalism " in the case of Medellín v. Texas, holding that domestic constitutional principles outweighed an international directive, Koh has tried to lobby the court otherwise.
Tozzi says Koh authored an influential friend-of-the-court brief arguing for the incorporation of international norms in a death penalty case. The same arguments could be applied to abortion to make the U.S. comply with the pro-abortion sentiments of the UN.
"Substantively more worrisome to social conservatives, however, is the importation of abortion," the CFAM author notes and points out that the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas referenced evolving international norms.
Tozzi is also concerned about Koh because the Yale lawyer may have been involved in UN conferences as a part of the Clinton administration that promoted abortion and population control.
"Koh was a high-ranking State Department official during the Clinton years and likely advised in such controversial conferences as Cairo+5 and Beijing+5," Tozzi writes.
Ultimately, Tozzi says "Koh is perceived as championing abortion" and that would mean keeping Roe in place another 35 years or longer if he is added to the high court.
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