Kagan Didn't Want Military's Return to Harvard

Sunday, 20 Jun 2010 09:03 AM

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Elena Kagan's move to suspend help to military recruiters as dean of Harvard Law School angered Pentagon officials all the way up to then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, according to government documents released Saturday.

The records show that the controversy was resolved by Harvard's president with little apparent input from Kagan, according to The Washington Post.

The documents also hint that Kagan didn’t fully back allowing recruiters to return to the campus, the Post reports. At issue was the military's ban on openly gay people serving in the armed forces, which violates the university's anti-discrimination policy.

In a spring 2005 e-mail, an Air Force representative said he had been "assured" that Harvard Law School would resume sponsoring military recruiters the next fall. Mark Weber, who oversaw the school's career services office, "expressed that though Dean Kagan had made her position (opposition) to military recruiting very clear, the university president felt differently," the e-mail said.

The documents show for the first time that the decision to resume was not primarily hers. Kagan was widely perceived to be close to then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers, now the White House's senior economic adviser, and when he resigned as Harvard's president, she tried unsuccessfully to succeed him.

Read the entire story at The Washington Post.

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