US Supreme Court replacement?

[Published by the Cambodia Daily on July 14, 2006, under the heading “Monitor Should Recuse Herself From Debate on US Senate Bill”.]

It appears that the political dispute about whether the U.S. Senate should approve President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy is unnecessary.

Indeed, the court itself is unnecessary, as we have Heather Ryan – “Tribunal Is Tainted by Political Interference, but Not From US” (July 12) – to tell us the correct “interpretation” of US legislation.

While attorney Michael Karnavas and others who read the US Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill may see it as a threat to withhold funds unless Meas Muth is charged and tried in Case 003 at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, Ms. Ryan points out that it really means something quite different than what it says. No wonder she calls the bill “confusing and ambiguous.”

However, it does seem strange that Ms. Ryan, as a consultant to the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), has not recused herself from the debate. After the co-investigating judges who originally investigated Case 003 had decided that it lay outside the court’s jurisdiction, it was OSJI and friends who obtained confidential information about the decision and then mounted a public campaign against the international co-investigating judge, which drove him to resign before the case could be formally closed.