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How can the demands of globalization be reconciled with a more traditional constitutional framework? At an AEI and Federalist Society event on Thursday, professors John Yoo and Julian Ku addressed this question by discussing their recently released book, "Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution, and the New World Order," alongside panelists Martin Flaherty of Fordham University School of Law, Jeremy Rabkin of George Mason University and moderator Jennifer Rubin, author of the Washington Post's Right Turn blog.
Ku began the discussion by offering an outline of the three core concepts of the book that critically affect the way we currently think of the U.S. Constitution. Co-author Yoo then elaborated that modern globalization puts the same stresses on our legal and political frameworks as nationalism did in years past. Notably, Yoo argued that the president should be responsible for interpreting international law (rather than the courts).
Martin Flaherty then voiced opposition to Ku and Yoo's book, despite admitting its comprehensiveness and lucidity. He criticized the excessively original nature of Ku and Yoo's analysis, arguing that it perhaps verged on idiosyncratic. In Flaherty’s opinion, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia presents an ideal alternative framework by which to examine the issues tackled by Ku and Yoo.
Jeremy Rabkin concluded the panel discussion by observing that "Taming Globalization" rises above angry diatribe and rightly focuses on structure and process. However, Rabkin conceded that the cost of such a focus was an acceptance of globalization as a centrally agreed upon and inevitable concept, which, he claims, is unfounded. Jennifer Rubin wrapped up the event by leading a spirited discussion that explored international human rights law and the nature of international law at large.
-- Elizabeth DeMeo
In our increasingly global society, dozens of international institutions ranging from the International Court of Justice to the World Trade Organization cast a legal net that spans the globe. This emerging system of international law presents an unavoidable challenge to American constitutional law and particularly to the separation of powers and the allocation of powers between the federal government and the states. In their new book, "Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution, and the New World Order," Julian Ku of the Hoftstra University School of Law and John Yoo of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law propose that domestic actors should mitigate the negative aspects of globalized legal standards by invoking "mediating devices," such as eliminating self-execution of treaties, recognizing the president's authority to interpret international law, and relying on state implementation of international law and agreements. These devices, Ku and Yoo argue, will help us resolve this challenge in a way that minimizes both constitutional and international difficulties.
Join the Federalist Society and AEI for a panel discussion of John Yoo and Julian Ku's new book, where Martin Flaherty of the Fordham University School of Law and Jeremy Rabkin of the George Mason University School of Law will join the authors in a discussion of their proposals and whether they are faithful to our Constitution, our history and our international law obligations.
Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Martin Flaherty, Fordham University School of Law
Julian Ku, Hofstra University School of Law
Jeremy Rabkin, George Mason University School of Law
John Yoo, AEI and University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Jennifer Rubin, Commentary Magazine
Question and Answer
For more information, please contact Elizabeth DeMeo at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.862.4876.
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Martin Flaherty is Leitner Family Professor of International Human Rights Law and co-founding director of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School. Previously, Flaherty served as a law clerk for Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court and Chief Judge John Gibbons of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, his writings focus upon constitutional law and history, foreign affairs and international human rights.
Julian Ku is a professor at Hofstra University School of Law, where he teaches international and constitutional law subjects. His main research interest is the intersection of international and domestic law. Before joining the Hofstra faculty in 2002, Ku served as a law clerk to Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and as an Olin Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Virginia Law School. Ku also practiced as an associate at the New York City law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, specializing in litigation and arbitration arising out of international disputes. During the spring of 2011, Ku was the Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Law at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, China.
Jeremy Rabkin is a professor at George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches international law, constitutional history and the law of armed conflict. Rabkin was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the board of directors of the United States Institute of Peace, a federal advisory body. He also serves on the board of directors of the Center for Individual Rights, a private, non-profit legal advocacy organization.
Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Rubin came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Her work has appeared in a number of print and online publications, including The Weekly Standard, where she has been a frequent contributor. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades.
John Yoo is a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the AEI. Yoo has published scholarly articles on foreign affairs, national security and constitutional law in the nation’s leading law journals. Yoo was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on national security and terrorism after the September 11 attacks. He also served as general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a law clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.