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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kagan Grilled On Blocking Military Recruiters & DADT

Republican Senators Bring Up Kagan's Record On Blocking Military Recruiters

Senate Republicans and Solicitor General Elena Kagan are facing off over whether her objection to the military's ban on openly gay soldiers and her decision to restrict recruiters at Harvard Law School disqualify her from serving on the Supreme Court.

Just minutes into Kagan's confirmation hearing Monday, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions charged she had "kicked the military out of the recruiting office" at Harvard, "in violation of federal law."

"Her actions punished the military and demeaned our soldiers as they were courageously fighting two wars overseas," Sessions said. "I can't take this issue lightly."

The recruitment matter is one of the few points on her resume that Republicans have been able to use against her. Her policies and writings on the issue call up broader themes of patriotism and equal rights, both emotional topics at a time when the nation is at war and both parties are gearing up for the midterm elections. In some measure, the November balloting will be a referendum on her patron, President Barack Obama.

At the very heart of Kagan's decision at Harvard is an even more sensitive topic — her opposition to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on openly gay soldiers.

Republicans contend that Harvard was the wrong venue for Kagan's "personal political grievance" and that briefly restricting the recruiters on campus broke the law. They conclude with questions about whether Kagan is anti-military and unfit to make impartial decisions on the high court.

Republicans have a tough case to make.

Sources: CNN, Yahoo News, Youtube, Google Maps

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