US Kagan: Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Policy Is 'Unwise And Unjust'

First Published Tuesday, 29th June 2010 02:39 pm - © 2010 Dow Jones


By Shayndi Raice and Corey Boles

Of Dow Jones NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan said Tuesday that she never sought to block military recruiters access to Harvard University when she was dean of its law school.

But she said she felt there was a conflict because the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy clashed with Harvard's non-discrimination policy. She said it was no secret that she strongly disagrees with the military policy towards gay personnel serving in the armed forces.

"All I tried to do was to make sure that Harvard University could also comply with its anti-discrimination policy," Kagan told lawmakers on the second day of her confirmation hearing to be a Supreme Court justice.

Kagan said the military policy towards gay personnel is "unwise and unjust."

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), the top Republican on the Judiciary panel, said he felt "like you mishandled that. I am absolutely confident you did."

The second day of the hearing begins the question and answer session of Kagan's confirmation hearing. It is expected to last the rest of the week.

"I tried in every way I could to make clear to the veterans of the military how much I respected their service," she said, after she was asked about her role in allowing military recruiters access to Harvard Law School students by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.

Kagan also said that military recruiting levels didn't decrease due to the school's decision to restrict access to the military.

Sessions said he was struck by Kagan's comments, saying that they were "unconnected to reality."

-By Shayndi Raice and Corey Boles, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6601; shayndi.raice@dowjones.com

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