Kenn Starr Backs Harold Koh For State Gig

15 04 2009

That makes two. Ken Starr and Ted Olson, former Solicitor General under Bush the younger, have both endorsed President Obama’s nominee for State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh. As some of you may know, Koh has come under attack from the likes of Glenn Beck and Jay Sekulow and their foot soldiers on the far right who have tried to portray Obama’s nominee as a nutty liberal looking to supplant American law with Sharia law and a threat to the “fundamental American principles of representative government.”

The baseless accusations have already been debunked by Dahilia Lithwick and others but now right wingers will now have to shout down their own. In a letter dated yesterday, Dean of Pepperdine Law School Ken Star said, “I am firmly convinced that Harold is extraordinarily well qualified to serve with great distinction in the post of Legal Advisor,” and Ted Olson who said he had “ the greatest respect for Harold Koh,” and added, “He’s a brilliant scholar and a man of great integrity.”

Part of the reason that conservatives have gone after Harold Koh, Dawn Johnsen, and other executive nominees is to set the stage for the larger battle over a Supreme Court nominee which may come as soon as this summer. Conservatives hope to target and tarnish as many people with SCOTUS nom resumes, like Koh, in an effort to eliminate them from contention but also to keep throwing red meat to their base to keep them engaged on issues that even vaguely have culture warrior significance.

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