Robert Merrill – a veteran Marine officer who spent three years at Harvard Law – leaps to Elena Kagan’s defense, at least in re
If Elena Kagan is “anti-military,” she certainly didn’t show it. She treated the veterans at Harvard like VIPs, and she was a fervent advocate of our veterans association. She was decidedly against “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but that never affected her treatment of those who had served. I am confident she is looking forward to the upcoming confirmation hearings as an opportunity to engage in some intellectual sparring with members of Congress over her Supreme Court nomination. I would respectfully warn them to do their homework, as she has a reputation for annihilating the unprepared.
In my opinion, Kagan’s positions never affected the services’ ability to recruit at Harvard. Behind the scenes, the dean ensured that our tiny HLS Veterans Association never lacked for funds or access to facilities. Recruiters simply could not use the school’s Office of Career Services. Does this demonstrate an “activist” streak, as some have proclaimed? I don’t think so. The school’s policy against discrimination was akin to black-letter law. If anything, Kagan was an activist in ensuring that military recruiters had viable access to students and facilities despite the official ban. A Boston-area recruiter later told me that the biggest hurdle he faced recruiting at Harvard Law was trying to answer the students’ strangely intellectual questions.
There may be a lot of reasons to keep Elena Kagan off the Supreme Court – she’s a preening elitist on a court already so full of Ivy Leaguers, she’s a not-so-closeted authoritarian, whatever. Maybe hatred of the military isn’t one of them…