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.