Harvard Law School
As the newly appointed Dean of Harvard Law School, Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan decided, in the middle of the War on Terror, to cripple the Reserve Officer Training Corps’ recruitment capability on campus by denying it crucial access to funding, operating space, and assistance from the Office of Career Services.
Kagan’s action fits into a shameful history of antiwar college administrators’ kicking ROTC off university campuses nationwide, most visibly at Ivy League schools, out of opposition to the Vietnam War in the late 60s and 70s. After the war ended, officials extended the policy out of supposed concern over the military’s ban on gays in the 80s and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the 90s.
After the Solomon Amendment barring federal funding to universities that ban military recruitment on campus was fully implemented at Harvard in 2003, Kagan signed on to a legal challenge to the amendment. The Third Circuit Court overturned the amendment in 2004, but stayed its ruling pending Supreme Court review. Kagan, impatient with the vagaries of the legal system, decided to force Harvard back onto its anti-ROTC policy, even though the law hadn’t yet been changed. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the Third Circuit ruling in 2006, at which point Kagan reversed her actions to comply with the ruling.
Gay rights supporters defend Kagan’s actions as a necessary stopgap against government-sponsored military discrimination.
It is instructive to reconsider Kagan’s stance in the context of the role our military plays, the people and the rights it protects, and our enemies’ attitudes toward individual liberty and their treatment of gays. read more »