Harold Koh, current dean of the Yale Law School, is one the top prospects for President Obama's Supreme Court nominee once Justice David Souter retires in June.
Koh, a Korean-American, became dean at Yale in 2004. He clerked for Associate Justice Harry Blackmun on the Supreme Court, and worked for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Reagan Justice Department. Koh also served in the Clinton administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
Koh was nominated as a legal adviser in the State Department in March, but has not yet been confirmed.
Koh has been a harsh critic of former President Bush's foreign and legal policies.
The Bush administration's policies on detention, interrogations, surveillance and other issues, he said, had imposed "unnecessary, self-inflicted wounds, which have gravely diminished our global standing and damaged our reputation for respecting the rule of law."
Koh is often considered to be a supporter of transnationalism, "the belief that U.S. courts can and should under certain circumstances incorporate international legal sources -- including foreign judicial opinions-- into their judgments." The possible nominee was at the center of a controversy, fueled by conservative pundits and commentators, over accusations that he would put international law above the U.S. Constitution.