Sessions: Kagan discriminated against military, sat silent for Saudi gift

posted at 1:42 pm on June 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

We haven’t heard much about the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court lately, which has been one of the few beneficial side effects of the Gulf disaster for the Obama administration. Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, addressed that lack of attention yesterday in a lengthy floor speech about Kagan’s controversial record with military recruiters as Dean of Harvard Law School.  Kagan kept military recruiters off campus during her tenure because of the Pentagon’s “don’t ask – don’t tell” policy, but Sessions points out that Kagan served in the administration that created the policy and never went on record opposing it at the time.  It’s a rather telling piece of political hypocrisy, and Sessions wonders why Kagan didn’t fight the policy when she had the power to do so, rather than hypocritically blaming it on the military later.

Furthermore, Sessions argues, her hypocrisy doesn’t end there.  While Kagan successfully barred military recruiters from the Harvard Law campus because of their support of a “moral injustice of the first order,” Kagan sat by silently while Harvard accepted a $20 million gift from Saudi Arabia.  Considering how the Saudis treat gays — with execution, flogging, or both — where was Kagan’s moral compass at that time?  Given her lack of judicial experience and the Obama administration’s reliance on her tenure at Harvard to push her through to confirmation, Sessions wants answers to these questions.

The full speech and transcript follow:

“Mr. President, I’d like to speak briefly on President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. The more we examine her record, there are concerns that her legal judgments might be infected by her very liberal political views. We see strong evidence of that in Ms. Kagan’s memos as a clerk on the Supreme Court, and in her work as domestic policy advisor in the White House for President Clinton.

We also see strong evidence of this in her time as dean of Harvard Law School. Perhaps to some in the elite, progressive circles of academia, it is acceptable to discriminate against the patriots who fight and die for our freedoms. But the vast majority of Americans know that such behavior is wrong, it has arrogance about it, and really it is not ethical.

When Ms. Kagan became Dean in 2003 she inherited a policy of full, equal access for the military. But she reversed that policy in clear, open defiance of federal law. She kicked the military out of the campus recruitment office as our troops at that very moment risked their lives in two wars overseas.

Some have recently attempted to defend Ms. Kagan’s conduct by arguing that she deigned to speak with student veterans, to discuss whether they would coordinate a sort of second-class system for the recruiters who had been coming on campus. This all happened after she had defied the law and shut down those official channels of the campus recruiting office. But the Harvard Student Veterans Association plainly expressed to Ms. Kagan, in a letter to the entire law school, that they lacked the resources to take the place of the campus office now closed to the military. That letter reads in part:

“Given our tiny membership, meager budget, and lack of any office space, we possess neither the time nor the resources to routinely schedule campus rooms or advertise extensively for outside organizations, as is the norm for most recruiting events.”

But Ms. Kagan was unmoved. Instead of welcoming the military recruiters on campus, she punished them and relegated them to second-class status. In fact, Dean Kagan’s public comments contributed to a hostile on-campus environment for both recruiters and student veterans. Ms. Kagan said she “abhorred” the military’s recruitment policy—blaming soldiers for the decisions of the president and lawmakers in Congress. She called it a “moral injustice of the first order,” and participated in a student protest opposing military recruiting. And, stunningly, she expressed sympathy for students and faculty for whom “the military’s presence on campus feels alienating.”

Those alienated by the military’s presence did not need sympathy, they needed a history lesson: they had the freedom to complain and protest from the safety of Harvard’s campus because of the blood and sacrifice of the men and women who wear the uniform. If you talk to student veterans who were on campus during 2004 and 2005, you will learn that many of them felt exploited. Here were people who had just returned from battle in Iraq, dodging enemy gunfire, and now they were supposed to quietly hustle military recruiters through a back door—and provide political cover for Ms. Kagan.

In a report for NPR, one student veteran who was there summed it up this way: “getting us to carry her water on military recruitment through the back door was a bridge too far. … I came to view her as a very smooth political person.” Ms. Kagan said her mistreatment of the military was justified by her view that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a “moral injustice of the first order.” But Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was created and implemented by President Clinton. Where was her outrage during the five years she served in the Clinton White House? Why would she blame the military? They didn’t pass the rule. It was Congress and the president. Instead of taking a stand in Washington, Ms. Kagan waited until she got to Harvard and stood in the way of devoted, hardworking military recruiters.

And now, information has come to light suggesting Ms. Kagan may have been even less morally principled in her approach than previously thought. Around the same time Ms. Kagan was campaigning to exclude military recruiters—citing what she saw as the evils of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell—Harvard University accepted $20 million from a member of the Saudi Royal family to establish a center for Islamic Studies in his honor. A recent Obama State Department report concerning Saudi Arabia and Islamic Shari’a law noted that:

“Under Shari’a as interpreted in [Saudi Arabia] sexual activity between two persons of the same gender is punishable by death or flogging.”

Ms. Kagan was perfectly willing to obstruct the U.S. military—which has liberated countless Muslims from the hate and tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban. But it seems she sat on the sidelines as Harvard created an Islamic Studies Center funded by—and dedicated to—foreign leaders presiding over a legal system that violates what would appear to be her position. She fought the ability of our own soldiers to access campus resources, but not those who spread the oppressive tenets of Islamic Shari’a law.

Perhaps her response was guided by campus politics. But Ms. Kagan lacks experience as a judge, as a lawyer, and as a scholar. Much of her career has been spent actively engaged in liberal politics—not legal practice. There are serious questions as to whether Ms. Kagan could now suddenly set aside the political agenda that has defined so much of her career. These are important issues, and Ms. Kagan will have an opportunity to present her side of the story. I suspect many Americans will be listening closely to her explanation.”


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The ass-kickers are in charge.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2010 at 1:46 PM

It appears that my hypocrisy know’s no bounds.

Johnnyreb on June 17, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Most grateful for this Senator’s loyal opposition.

Edouard on June 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

And she lost a SCOTUS decision today regarding the Labor Board.

WashJeff on June 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I predict fondling across the aisle and final approval. The whole bunch turns my stomach.

retiredeagle on June 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2010 at 1:46 PM

BAZINGA!!!!!!!!

ladyingray on June 17, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Doesn’t matter. She’ll get confirmed one way or another.

kcluva on June 17, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Count Lindsey Graham as a yes vote…

lm10001 on June 17, 2010 at 1:50 PM

And on Jeopardy tonight: Here is your clue;

“Well known flip flopper of Harvard College who hates the military and embraces Saudi Gift?”

You have 30 seconds. {Que Music}

upinak on June 17, 2010 at 1:51 PM

This old gal has NO business on the SC or any court. I hope she is not confirmed, but I fear she will be. Keep up your good work Sen. Sessions.
L

letget on June 17, 2010 at 1:51 PM

You might as well hand out speeding tickets at the Indy 500 as castigate a politician for being beholden to the Saudis. They’re all beholden to the Saudis. Exception: Tom Tancredo. Anyone else?

Considering how the Saudis treat gays — with execution, flogging, or both — where was Kagan’s moral compass at that time?

Yes MidEast homosexual liberation is a top priority, Ed. Once they agree to stop flogging homosexuals we can begin lobbying them to introduce same-sex matrimony.

aengus on June 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM

OT- This may not be 20 mil corruption but corruption is corruption. From today’s Chicago Sun Times:
“The name of President Obama came into play this afternoon at the political corruption trial of former governor Rod Blagojevich as an associate of political fund-raiser Tony Rezko testified that Rezko asked him to write a $10,000 check to Friends of Obama.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in January 2008 that Glenview businessman Joseph Aramanda, who is testifying today, made the donation as part of a scheme orchestrated by Rezko.

Aramanda gave $10,000 in campaign cash to Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign on March 5, 2004, according to records. The money came from part of a finder’s fee Aramanda received, but did no work for, thanks to Rezko.

The allegation is the first time Obama has been linked to Rezko through first-hand sworn testimony at the corruption trial.”

If there is one trial to watch right now, this might be it. More juicy details at the Sun Times web site.

MayorDaley on June 17, 2010 at 1:54 PM

The Saudis are muslim, right? Asked and answered.

Vashta.Nerada on June 17, 2010 at 1:57 PM

A wise female hypocrite is better than any old white guy.

mankai on June 17, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Doesn’t matter. She’ll get confirmed one way or another.

kcluva on June 17, 2010 at 1:48 PM

How much damage will our lame duck Congress do?

John Deaux on June 17, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Amy the intern here … become a fan of Ed on FB

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ed-Morrissey/101863673199713?ref=ts

Amy Ritter on June 17, 2010 at 2:01 PM

I predict fondling across the aisle and final approval.

retiredeagle on June 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

TMI

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 17, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Sen. Jeff Sessions, I love the guy, a straight shooter but he doesn’t look like a Jeff!

tim c on June 17, 2010 at 2:03 PM

One can only hope Obama has lost so much on the Democratic side of the aisle with his poor handling of Deepwater Horizon that some folks might not be willing to stick their neck out for him again.

The man has very little political capital left.

ButterflyDragon on June 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM

I am proud Jeff is my Senator, one of the FEW in D.C right now that deserve to be re elected .This guy is squeaky clean and does a good job , he has raised MANY questions to Obama’s appointees and policy’s .
If not for men like him we would be spiraling into Socialism at a much faster rate

ELMO Q on June 17, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Kagan discriminated against military, sat silent for Saudi gift

 
Mr. Sessions? That’s a feature, not a bug.

rogerb on June 17, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Harvard and Georgetown are Wahhabi League schools. It’s just way too easy to fool, scare or bribe our so-called elites. Often all three, as here.

As I always used to say at Jihad Watch, we’re living Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, but with Islam (instead of the old secular totalitarianisms) as the Rhino.

Beagle on June 17, 2010 at 2:10 PM

My apologies for this completely o/t comment, but I don’t know where else to put it. Has anyone heard anymore news on the MacDill AFB story — the “heavily-armed” couple stopped at the gate? The story has dropped off the map.

Thanks in advance.

ncc770 on June 17, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Turkish gov’t backed extremists

A report released this week by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) said new details have emerged which show how approximately 40 operatives from the Turkish Islamist IHH organization carefully prepared a violent ambush on navy commandos last week on board the Mavi Maramara ship, and acted with the full backing of the
Turkish government.

T he IHH operatives were armed with knives, axes and other weapons, communicated with one another using walkie talkies, set up a control room onboard the ship, and maintained close ties with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the report said.

In addition, the Mavi Maramara ship was purchased by the IHH from a major shipping company owned by the Istanbul Municipality, which is run by the ruling AKP party, it has emerged.

In January, the IHH helped organize a convoy to Gaza which became stranded at El-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula after being denied entry into Gaza by Egypt, “Turkey enacted major pressure on Egypt to let the convoy into Gaza. The Egyptians eventually agreed,” Karmon added. An Egyptian soldier was killed during clashes between members of the convoy and the Egyptian security forces.

Last week, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released footage of statements made by Bulent Yildirim, head of IHH, in Gaza in February 2009.

During the speech, which was filled with references to “martyrdom,” Yildirim said, “All the peoples of the Islamic world would want a leader like [Turkish prime minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

Tav on June 17, 2010 at 2:13 PM

where was Kagan’s moral compass at that time?

At the pawn shop, getting hocked for $20 million.

GarandFan on June 17, 2010 at 2:16 PM

What more do you need to hear? The estimable Sen. Sessions lays it out clear as day. She is unqualified and unfit. Boot her.

rrpjr on June 17, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Pish posh, the only group of people that hate gays are American conservatives, everyone knows that.

Bishop on June 17, 2010 at 2:20 PM

I’m much more interested to see what Kagan said as ‘friend of saudis er…court’ against the 9-11 victim families,when these people wanted to sue the saudis as the perps of 9-11 massacre.
Its strange how saudis have been spreading money around to victims of their terrorism. There was one
( Walid bin Talal) who wanted to give 10 mil to Guiliani a few days after 9-11 ( which IIRC Cynthia McKinny wanted to accept because Guiliani refused ). Saudis give loads of money to the Clintons and its all covered up . Saudis fund madarassas in US and the media makes sure no one ever knows about it.I don’t think even FOX will report it because bin Talal owns them too.

There is something anti-US going on for sure and the Hussain-Clinton-Kagan cabal have profited from it.
I hope someone has the guts to speak freely and directly about this cabal.

macncheez on June 17, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Beagle on June 17, 2010 at 2:10 PM

UC Irvine too

macncheez on June 17, 2010 at 2:24 PM

UC Irvine too

macncheez on June 17, 2010 at 2:24 PM

This is why I call Georgetown and Harvard the Wahhabi League.

So in a nutshell it’s OK to conduct Islamic da’wa in an effort to recruit jihadis, but not recruit for the US Marines. In. Our. Own. Universities.

Beagle on June 17, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Kagan to the highest court, parley-voo?
Kagan to the highest court, parley-voo?
She can garner a buck, a drink, a deal
But it isn’t because of sex appeal
On the Gay hating Saudi’s millions she can dine
But when it comes to the American military all she can do is whine
She has a form like the back of a hack
When she cries about the treatment of Gays the crocodile tears run down her back
If she would just change her underwear
The RINO frogs in the senate will probably give her the Croix-de-Guerre
The Marxists and Fascists will get the pie and cake
But all the Constitutionalists will get is a bellyache
Hinky, dinky, parley-voo

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on June 17, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Count Lindsey Graham as a yes vote…

lm10001 on June 17, 2010 at 1:50 PM

yepper along with orrin

cmsinaz on June 17, 2010 at 2:38 PM

That was an easy call for Kagan.

Military = men and women dedicated to freedom

Saudis = radicals dedicated to the destruction of America

It is all becoming clear.

Jvette on June 17, 2010 at 2:39 PM

“Have you gone gay yet Daddy?”

leftnomore on June 17, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Captain Ass Kicked.

Akzed on June 17, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Why even bother? They’re going to confirm her anyway. This is just wasted time and energy.

Esthier on June 17, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Glenn had O’Reilly on his radio program this morning talking about their upcoming tour together and he said he was going to explain in the show how the Commies in this country are tied in with the terrorists (or Al Queda – can’t remember which right now). Bill won’t believe it even if he sees it with his own eyes. It frustrates me so watch him anymore, yet I do. Everything all of us can see clearly about this administration, Bill just doesn’t see it.

silvernana on June 17, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Kagan’s politics aren’t mine, and I’d rather see someone else on the court. This line of attack is misguided, though — and embarrassing. Kagan was a good friend to military personnel at Harvard, and was by no means anti-military.

This is the problem with echo chambers.

Prufrock on June 17, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Kagan’s politics aren’t mine, and I’d rather see someone else on the court. This line of attack is misguided, though — and embarrassing. Kagan was a good friend to military personnel at Harvard, and was by no means anti-military.

This is the problem with echo chambers.

Prufrock on June 17, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Judging by words, not actions.

This is the problem with liberals.

BKennedy on June 17, 2010 at 7:49 PM