Gingrich falsely claims “anti-military” Kagan “single[d] out the military” at Harvard
Arguing that President Obama “should withdraw” Elena Kagan’s nomination, Fox News’ Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that Kagan tried to “block the American military from Harvard Law School”; that Kagan “single[d] out the military” in applying Harvard’s nondiscrimination policy; that the military “didn’t have a policy” of discrimination against openly gay troops; and that Kagan is “anti-military.” Last year, Gingrich smeared Sonia Sotomayor as a “racist” and argued that her nomination should be withdrawn.
Gingrich uses falsehoods to claim Kagan is “anti-military” and should be withdrawn
Gingrich claims Kagan “single[d] out the military” for a policy that was Clinton’s. On the May 16 edition of Fox News Sunday, Fox contributor Newt Gingrich speech at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Kagan stated: “I am in awe of your courage and your dedication, especially in these times of great uncertainty and danger. I know how much my security and freedom and indeed everything else I value depend on all of you.” Kagan further stated that she has been “grieved” by DADT because she “wish[es]” that gays and lesbians “could join this noblest of all professions and serve their country in this most important of all ways.” Kagan added:
But I would regret very much if anyone thought that the disagreement between American law schools and the US military extended beyond this single issue. It does not. And I would regret still more if that disagreement created any broader chasm between law schools and the military. It must not. It must not because of what we, like all Americans, owe to you. And it must not because of what I am going to talk with you about tonight — because of the deep, the fundamental, the necessary connection between military leadership and law. That connection makes it imperative that we — military leaders and legal educators — join hands and be partners.
Kagan has repeatedly praised the military even while opposing DADT. In an October 6, 2003, email announcing that Harvard Law School would allow military recruiters on campus, Kagan wrote that “[t]he importance of the military to our society — and the extraordinary service that members of the military provide to all the rest of us — makes this discrimination [DADT] more, not less, repugnant,” a sentiment she reiterated in a 2005 letter offering “background” on the school’s position on military recruiting on campus.
At an October 2004 rally protesting against military recruitment on campus, Kagan reportedly said: “These men and women, notwithstanding their talents, their conviction, their courage, cannot perform what I truly believe to be the greatest service a person can give for their country. And that’s just wrong, that’s just flat out wrong.” In a 2008 statement on the military recruiting issue, Kagan wrote, “The military is a noble profession, which provides extraordinary service to each of us every day.”
Veterans at Harvard Law, conservative legal blog have rejected claim that Kagan is “anti-military.”
- Harvard Law veterans: “Kagan has great respect for the military.” Responding to a January 30, 2009, Washington Times op-ed by Flagg Youngblood labeling Kagan an “anti-military zealot,” three Iraq war veterans attending Harvard Law School wrote in a letter to the editor that Kagan has “created an environment that is highly supportive of students who have served in the military,” and that “[u]nder her leadership, Harvard Law School has also gone out of its way to highlight our military service.” The Harvard Law Record later reported on the veterans’ letter, quoting Orazem as saying, “Kagan has great respect for the military.” ·
- Conservative legal blog: No reason to believe Kagan is hostile to the military. At Volokh Conspiracy, a group blog run by mostly conservative law professors, George Mason University Law professor Ilya Somin wrote: “I don’t see any reason to believe that [Kagan’s decision on military recruiters] reflects a general hostility towards the armed forces.”
Gingrich previously called for Sotomayor to withdraw
Gingrich previously smeared Sotomayor as a “racist” and said she should withdraw. During his Fox News Sunday appearance, Gingrich stated that Obama “should withdraw” Kagan’s nomination. In 2009, Gingrich posted a tweet stating, “White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.”