What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Support for Independent International Law : On confirming Harold Koh to be the State Department’s legal adviser/On the motion
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On confirming Harold Koh to be the State Department’s legal adviser/On the motion
senate Roll Call 213     Jun 25, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on whether to confirm Harold Koh to be the State Department’s legal advisor.  The nomination would place Koh, the outgoing dean of Yale’s law school, as the State Department’s top lawyer.

Republicans had held up Koh’s nomination for three months because of some of his past views about international law.  They have argued that in the past Koh has accepted international law as a guide for the U.S. judicial system, suggestions that Koh has disputed.

Koh has taken stances critical of President George Bush’s counterterrorism and foreign policies, which he has suggested have harmed America’s standing abroad.

Democrats have said Koh’s credentials are outstanding and that he will serve ably.  He has been endorsed by legal scholars from both the right and left of the political spectrum, as well as law school deans and professors around the country.

No one spoke on this vote specifically, likely because the real test vote for his confirmation came previously (see vote 212) as part of a procedural vote, the success of which allowed debate to be brought to a close and the Senate to proceed to this confirmation vote.

By a vote of 62-35, the Senate voted to confirm Harold Koh.  Every Democrat present voted for his nomination.  All but five Republicans present voted against his nomination . The end result is that the Senate confirmed Harold Koh to be the State Department’s legal advisor.

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