Conservatives are splitting
on whether to support Elana Kagan's
nomination to the Supreme Court. But those in opposition are rapidly
organizing around a chief complaint: Kagan's decision, while Dean of the
Harvard Law School, to ban military recruiters from using the Harvard
Law School Office of Career Services. Kagan said at the time that the
policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell was discriminatory, a violation of
students' rights, and "a profound wrong -- a moral injustice of the
first order." Conservatives are seizing on that decision, later
reversed, to portray Kagan as anti-military, too zealous on gay rights,
and as potentially willing to put her personal beliefs first.
She Is 'Anti-Military' The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol laments "Her hostility
to the U.S. military." He explains that the Clinton administration was
also responsible for that policy, so why did she focus on the military?
"Many important people are complicit in what Kagan regards as the 'moral
injustice of the first order' of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The only ones
Kagan sought to make pay a price were those serving the ranks of the
military. So Kagan needs to be asked: Why doesn't this reflect hostility
to the military?"
- 'Anti-Military Zealot' So accuses
the Washington Times' Flagg K. Youngblood. "Kagan's staunch
ideological opposition to the military and providing
qualified students the opportunity to serve puts her well outside of the
mainstream. Even Bill Clinton, who dodged a military draft during
Vietnam, signed the law Kagan opposes, the Solomon amendment, with
overwhelming congressional and public support."
Appreciate Military's 'Heroism' In a press release, Danny Gonzalez of conservative
pro-military group Move America Forward writes, "President Obama should
be appointing to the Supreme Court only those who truly appreciate the
heroism and contribution to our freedom we get from the United States
military. Kagan fails that test, and we hope she will be summarily
rejected in confirmation by the United States Senate."
This Is Her Biggest Recorded Policy Decision The Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong notes that
we don't have much else to go on to divine Kagan's worldview. "Elena
Kagan’s most notable foray into public life was kicking military
recruiters off of Harvard’s campus."
- 'Cheap Morale Posturing'
The National Review's Ed Whelan suspects that she
never really opposed military recruiting in principle, but merely
"engaging in cheap and contemptible moral posturing." His case?
"Whatever moral opposition Kagan had to the law when it was adopted
didn’t deter her from seeking and obtaining employment in the Clinton
White House. Nor will it keep her from palling around with the many
senators who voted for it, such as Vice President Biden."
Piles On: Her 'Achilles Heal' The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart also chides
Kagan's policy, calling it her "Achilles heal" for confirmation. "If
Solicitor General Elana Kagan gets the nod, conservatives will beat the
hell out of her for opposing military recruitment on campus when she was
dean of Harvard Law School. And liberals should concede the point; the
conservatives will be right."
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