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Kagan Showed Pragmatism on Campus Military Recruitment

Kagan Showed Pragmatism on Campus Military Recruitment


Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a leading Supreme Court contender, showed herself to be a pragmatist when, as dean of Harvard Law School, she faced the dilemma of whether to allow the military, which discriminates through the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, to recruit on campus.

The New York Times
profiles the period beginning in 2003, when Kagan became dean of the law school. Although she opposed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, an attempt to bar military recruiters, who were allowed on campus in 2002, would cost the school hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding.

"The choices she made during that long-running episode are now under scrutiny as Ms. Kagan, now the solicitor general, has become a leading potential nominee to the Supreme Court," reports the Times. "Her management of the recruiting dispute shows her to have been, above all, a pragmatist, asserting her principles but all the while following the law, so that Harvard never lost its financing.

"She repeatedly criticized 'don't ask, don't tell,' the policy that bars gay men and lesbians from openly serving in the military. At one point she called it "a moral injustice of the first order." She also joined a legal brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn the law that denied federal funds to colleges and universities that barred military recruiters.

"But even when she later briefly barred the military from using the law school's main recruitment office, she continued a policy of allowing the military recruiters access to students."

Read the account here.

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