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Accuracy in Academia

Kagan’s Harvard Won’t Ask Won’t Tell

On day two of the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, ranking Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Member Jeff Sessions, R, Ala., remarked that he was “taken aback” by the tone of the Supreme Court nominee’s account of her decision to deny military recruiters access to Harvard Law School’s Office of Career Services at times during her tenure as Dean, because he thought the tone of her testimony was “unconnected to reality.”

“I know what happened at Harvard. I know you were an outspoken leader against the military policy. …” argued Sen. Sessions.

Kagan had earlier told Sen. Sessions that she was “not quite sure how I would characterize my politics, but one thing I do know is that my politics would be, must be, have to be, completely separate from my judging and I agree with you, to the extent that you’re saying, look, judging is about considering a case that comes before you… and then considering how the law applies to their case.”

“How the law applies to their case, not how your own personal views, not how your own political views might suggest, you know, anything about the case but what the law says, whether it’s the constitution or whether it’s a statute,” said Kagan.

She maintained at the hearing that she had repeatedly said she believed that the “…Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is unwise and unjust.”

“I believed it then and I believe it now, and we were trying to do two things [at Harvard Law],” she said. “We were trying to make sure that military recruiters had full and complete access to our students, but we were also trying to protect our own anti-discrimination policy and to protect the students whom it is…whom…the policy is supposed to protect, which, in this case were our gay and lesbian students,” said Kagan. “And we tried to do both of those things.”

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