ALERT: The Judiciary Committee received a letter today from Military Families United, one of the nation’s largest advocates for military members and their families. In the letter, the group expresses deep concern over Elena Kagan’s decision as dean of Harvard Law School to obstruct military recruiting on Harvard’s campus, describing it “as troubling and appalling.” A text of the letter is below.
Dear Chairman Leahy and Senator Sessions,
On behalf of the thousands of military families represented by Military Families United, I am writing to express our views concerning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan and the controversy surrounding her decision to strip military recruiters of their institutional access to the Harvard Law School.
As you know, Harvard and other academic institutions obstructed military recruitment in protest of the implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the Clinton Administration. The problem persisted until 1995 when Congress passed the Solomon Amendment, which required universities to provide equal access to military recruiters or risk losing public funding. Unfortunately, Harvard chose to ignore the law and continued blocking access to military recruiters until 2002 when the Department of Defense threatened to eliminate Harvard’s public funding.
In 2004 Ms. Kagan, as Dean of Harvard Law School, decided to block access to military recruiters. While we recognize that she vehemently disagreed with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and believed it to be in violation of Harvard’s anti-discrimination policies, her actions were in direct violation of federal law as stated in the Solomon Amendment. Further, those actions were, in our estimation, discriminatory towards the Department of Defense for a policy and law it didn’t write or enact.
In closing, we find Ms. Kagan’s failure to offer support to our military in a time of war and her willingness to defy federal law as troubling and appalling. While Military Families United is taking no official position on her confirmation, we are extremely concerned with Ms. Kagan’s perceived anti-military bias as well as her failure to comply with federal law in this regard. We are hopeful that the Senate Judiciary Committee will fairly and vigorously question her motivation and reasoning on this matter. Thousands of military families, if not all Americans, deserve to hear an explanation of her actions.
Director of Government Affairs