Monday, May 17, 2010

Elena Kagan: Unsupportive of the Men and Women Who Are Fighting to Protect Us

The White House is going on the offensive big time to tamp down the growing backlash to High Court nominee Elena Kagan.

Newt Gingrich hammered Kagan over the weekend, highlighting her anti-military record and calling for President Obama to
pull her nomination.

And in case you missed it previously, Bill Kristol launched a devastating attack on May 10th, "
An Anti-Military Justice? Do Ask, Don't Confirm":

Elena Kagan

For me, the key obstacle to Elena Kagan's confirmation is pt. 5 in Ed Whelan's NRO post, which is also the question raised by Peter Berkowitz in these pages several years ago and by Peter Beinart just recently: Her hostility to the U.S. military.

Hostility? Isn't that harsh? Kagan has professed at times her admiration for those who serve in the military, even as she tried to bar military recruiters from Harvard Law School. But how does one square her professed admiration with her actions --- embracing an attempt to overturn the Solomon Amendment that was rejected 8-0 by the Supreme Court --- and her words?

Consider these words in particular from her letters to "All Members of the Harvard Law School Community": On Oct. 6, 2003, Kagan explained that she abhorred "the military's discriminatory recruitment policy....The military's policy deprives many men and women of courage and character from having the opportunity to serve their country in the greatest way possible. This is a profound wrong -- a moral injustice of the first order." On Sep. 28, 2004: "...the military's recruitment policy is both unjust and unwise. The military's policy deprives..." etc. And on March 7, 2006: "I hope that many members of the Harvard Law School community will accept the Court's invitation to express their views clearly and forcefully regarding the military's discriminatory employment policy. As I have said before, I believe that policy is profoundly wrong -- both unwise and unjust...," etc.

Notice, time and again: "the military's discriminatory recruitment policy," "the military's policy," "the military's recruitment policy," "the military's discriminatory employment policy."

But it is not the military's policy. It is the policy of the U.S. Government, based on legislation passed in 1993 by (a Democratic) Congress, signed into law and implemented by the Clinton administration, legislation and implementation that are currently continued by a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. It is intellectually wrong and morally cowardly to call this the "military's policy." Wrong for obvious reasons. Cowardly because it allowed Kagan to go ahead and serve in the Clinton administration that enforced this policy she so detests, and to welcome to Harvard as Dean former members of that administration, as well as Senators and Congressmen who actually voted for the law--which is more than the military recruiters whom Kagan sought to ban did.
RTWT and check the links.