Kagan and the Military

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: May 10, 2010 10:12 PM
Former Harvard Law School Dean Robert Clark writes about the history of "don't ask, don't tell" and Elena Kagan's decisions with regard to allowing military recruiters on campus

From my recollection, Dean Clark (who, revealingly, was considered a "conservative" at Harvard Law although he wouldn't be anywhere else)  is correct.  He notes that Dean Kagan didin't institute the policy (which I recall) of excluding military recruiters from the use of the school's Office of Career Services (OCS).  Instead, she simply reinstated the former policy, which had existed during Clark's tenure and until the US government took steps to stop it, once a court case made it possible for her to do so.

That, of course, doesn't mean the decision to exclude the military from use of the OCS was the right decision in the first place, although Clark apparently believes that it was.  And I was a strong critic when Harvard became the first school to reinstate the ban on military recruiting after a decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (which doesn't even cover Massachusetts).

All that said, the upshot of Clark's piece is to confirm that Kagan is not any worse when it comes to attitudes toward gays in the military than any other garden-variety, left-leaning law professor or dean.  That's not to say she's any better, though.

And although it ultimately won't keep her off the Court, it might be worth Republicans educating the American people about how, exactly, the "garden-variety, left-leaning" professoriate class at elite law schools treats America's military.