- By Laura RozenLaura Rozen writes The Cable daily at ForeignPolicy.com.
A cloture vote on the nomination of Harold Koh will be held this morning at 11 a.m. ET, The Cable has learned. Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, was tapped to become the State Department’s legal advisor nearly four months ago, but has faced criticism from conservatives for an alleged "transnational" approach to the law.
According to reporter Dave Wiegel of the Washington Independent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said through a spokesman that he is confident he has the 60 votes needed to overcome conservative opposition to Koh’s nomination.
Richard Lugar (R-IN), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement Tuesday expressing support for Koh. "After reading his answers to dozens of questions, attending his hearing in its entirety, meeting with him privately, and reviewing his writings, I believe that Dean Koh is unquestionably qualified to assume the post for which he is nominated," Lugar said.
UPDATE: "Cloture passed on a 65-31 vote," a Congressional source relays at 11:30am. "There was applause in the Senate gallery after the vote was announced. Republicans are threatening to exercise their right to use all 30 hours of floor debate before permitting a final vote, so Koh may not be formally confirmed until tomorrow."
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |