Last month on Fox News Sunday, right-wing pundit Bill Kristol said that he “endorsed” Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be nominated to the Supreme Court, calling her “a very respectable choice” who has “very hard-to-challenge credentials” and “impressive academic credentials.”
Now that President Obama has officially nominated Kagan, Kristol is finding ways to impugn Kagan’s “very hard-to-challenge credentials.” As part of its opposition to Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the right wing is focusing on Kagan’s opposition to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy during her tenure as Harvard Law School dean. Kristol advanced this argument on the Weekly Standard, writing that her views “reflect hostility to the military.” Today on Fox News, Kristol claimed she was “eager to prevent the military from being able to recruit at Harvard Law School”:
KRISTOL: As Dean of Harvard law school, she excluded military recruiters from the campus from being able to recruit Harvard law students, denied them the opportunity to work with the career services office there. … She was so eager to prevent the military from being able to recruit at Harvard Law School.
This is because she does not like the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which she is entitled not to like but her fervor in disliking it and her willingness to take out her dislike on the military is what bothers me. Bill Clinton signed that law, she had no problem with joining the Clinton administration dealing with many Democratic senators who voted for that law. Yet who gets banned from Harvard campus?
Kagan did not bar military recruiters from Harvard Law’s campus. She was only following the school’s rules — established in 1979 — preventing employers who discriminate based on sexual orientation from using the school’s career services center. The military could still recruit on Harvard’s campus through the school’s Veterans Association. And she actually allowed the military access to career services after the Supreme Court upheld a law that denies federal funding to universities that deny full access to their campuses.
And if opposition to DADT makes her “hostile to the military,” then — according to Kristol — perhaps Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Michael Mullen is hostile as well.