Megyn Kelly falsely claimed that as dean of Harvard Law School, Elena Kagan “bann[ed] the military from the campus” and baselessly asserted that Kagan “hampered the [military] recruiting effort” at Harvard. In fact, Harvard's data show that Kagan's actions did not hurt military recruitment, and Harvard students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean.
Kelly: Kagan “bann[ed] the military from the campus” and “hampered the [military] recruiting effort”
Kelly claims that in “banning the military from the campus,” Kagan “hampered the [military] recruiting effort” and “stifle[d] recruiting” On the May 17 edition of Fox News' America Live, Kelly discussed Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich's attack that Kagan is "anti-military" and that President Obama should withdraw her nomination to the Supreme Court. Kelly stated, "[T]he criticism of Kagan is that while she was dean of Harvard Law School, and she was dean in 2003, she decided to continue a policy of banning the military from the campus because they didn't like the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy." When Fox News contributor Alan Colmes noted that Kagan “continued to allow them on campus,” Kelly responded: “But not in the recruiting offices. She hampered the recruiting effort.” Kelly later stated: “And Republicans have also said in a time of war -- Iraq, Afghanistan -- is that a time for a dean of Harvard Law School to, in essence, try to stifle recruiting?”
Data don't support Kelly's claim that Kagan “hampered” or “stifle[d]” recruitment at Harvard
Harvard's data show that Kagan's actions did not hurt military recruitment. Kelly's claim that Kagan's actions “hampered” military recruitment at Harvard is contradicted by data Media Matters obtained from Harvard Law School's public information officer. The prohibition on Harvard Law's OCS working with military recruiters existed during the spring 2005 semester, meaning that it could have affected only the classes of 2005, 2006, and 2007. However, the number of graduates from each of those classes who entered the military was equal to or greater than the number who entered the military from any of Harvard's previous five classes.
Military recruiters never barred from campus under Kagan. Throughout Kagan's tenure as dean, Harvard law students had access to military recruiters -- either through Harvard's Office of Career Services or through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. Kagan became dean of Harvard Law in June 2003. In accordance with Harvard's existing nondiscrimination policy, she barred the school's Office of Career Services (OCS) from working with military recruiters for the spring 2005 semester after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that law schools could legally do so. During that one semester, students still had access to military recruiters via the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. During the fall 2005 semester, after the Bush administration threatened to revoke Harvard's federal funding, Kagan once again granted military recruiters access to OCS.