Friday, March 11, 2016


Professor Koh Joins Scholars in Signing Letter About SCOTUS Nominee

This week, scholars of American history and law wrote a letter to President Barack Obama to share their views on the Senate republicans' refusal to fulfill their responsibilities as laid out in the Constitution. Professor Harold Hongju Koh joined in writing and signing the letter. 

The letter argues that denying the President's Supreme Court nominee a hearing is unprecedented in this country's history. 

"We express our dismay at the unprecedented breach of norms by the Senate majority in refusing to consider a nomination for the Supreme Court made by a president with eleven months to serve in the position," the letter states.

"The Constitution gives the Senate every right to deny confirmation to a presidential nomination," the letter concludes. "But denial should come after the Senate deliberates over the nomination, which in contemporary times includes hearings in the Judiciary Committee, and full debate and votes on the Senate floor. Anything less than that, in our view, is a serious and, indeed, unprecedented breach of the Senate’s best practices and noblest traditions for much of our nation’s history."

To read the full letter, visit the White House's website

Professor Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. He is one of the country’s leading experts in public and private international law, national security law, and human rights.