harold hongju koh named state department legal adviser

As rumored last month, on Monday, the White House announced that it planned to nominated Harold Hongju Koh, dean of Yale Law School, to the key position of legal adviser to the State Department. He would serve as principal counselor on all legal matters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Koh tapped for State Department.

Koh, who is considered an authority on national security law, was a frequent critic of the Bush administration's handling of suspected terrorists in detention. In June 2004, he described the quality of legal work in Justice Department memorandums on torture as "embarrassing" and "abominable." Hear that, John Yoo?

Earlier this year, when the Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was suffering from early-stage pancreatic cancer and speculation rose about a possible vacancy on the high court, Koh's name was among those mentioned as a possible candidate.

State Department legal adviser doesn't quite have the same cachet as Supreme Court Justice, but no doubt, he'll still play an extremely important and influential role. More here: White House Names Yale Dean to State Dept. Post. And here: Human rights advocate named State Department's top lawyer.

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