Wash. Post debunks charges that Kagan is "anti-military"

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

A May 28 Washington Post article debunks claims made by conservative media figures that Elena Kagan's decision to briefly apply Harvard's anti-discrimination policy to military recruiters shows that she is anti-military and broke the law. In addition, the article makes clear that Kagan's actions did not cause military recruiting at Harvard to decline.

The Post reported: that Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL), "the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will conduct her confirmation hearings, has repeatedly accused [Kagan] of an anti-military bias and of breaking the law. Veterans who were on campus, however, and many legal experts say that neither is quite accurate." The Post later quoted a Marine Corps officer contradicting Sessions claim that Kagan has an anti-military bias: " 'I didn't think she demonstrated any bias by doing what the university required her to do' regarding the recruiters, said Lt. Col. Robert Bracknell, who was 35, already a lawyer and had been in the Marines for 15 years when he spent 2005-06 at the law school earning a master's degree. 'I found her to be very . . . interested in what I had to say.' "

The Post also reported:

[Harvard Law School Dean of Students Ellen] Cosgrove remembers Kagan telling her: "I want to do stuff to make the students feel that Harvard supports them, supports their service to the country." In fall 2006, Kagan inaugurated an intimate dinner with the veterans, held annually on Veterans Day until she left Harvard.

In fall 2006, a veteran was a finalist in Harvard's Ames Moot Court competition. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was a judge.

At a dinner before the arguments, Kennedy spoke with a student preparing to be a military lawyer and reminisced about his own time in the California National Guard. As they took their seats, a former officer of the veterans association recalls, he heard Kennedy lean over to Kagan to say that he hoped she took care to recognize the law school's veterans. The dean assured the justice that she did.

Other veterans who attended Harvard have also debunked claims that Kagan is anti-military. Furthermore, as we have also noted, the Post reported: "Kagan's decision -- and that of the veterans group -- had no impact on the number of people entering the military. In that spring of 2005, five graduates joined, more than any other year of the decade, according to Mark Weber, assistant dean for career services."

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