Former Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh was formally sworn in yesterday as the legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton LAW ’73 delivered the oath of office.
The ceremony took place nearly three months after the U.S. Senate confirmed Koh’s appointment after an unexpectedly heated nomination battle. After President Barack Obama nominated Koh in late March, conservative commentators voiced concerns that the dean would place international statutes above American law. Several Republican senators held up a vote on Koh’s nomination until June 25, when the Senate voted to confirm him 62-to-35.