Peter Wehner writes on why Elena Kagan discriminated against the military:
What was really on display in Harvard Law School v. Military Recruiters was the clash of two institutions: the academy, where Kagan has spent most of her adult life (Princeton University, the University of Chicago, and Harvard Law School); and the United States armed services.
Dean Kagan was mirroring the ethos of the institution she represented and that appears to have profoundly shaped her views and sensibilities. And among the characteristics of America's universities in general, and its Ivy League schools in particular, the military is not particularly well regarded or particularly well treated.
It is ironic that President Obama, who argues that a "keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people" is an important qualification for a Supreme Court justice, would nominate someone who looks down on the public institution the American people most look up to: the military. (I don't find persuasive the claim by Kagan supporters that she hates the sins of the military but loves the sinner, given that her rhetorical attacks were isolated on the armed services rather than on politicians whose support she might eventually need. And I rather doubt the military felt the soothing, warm embrace of Dean Kagan, either.)
As between Harvard and the Army, as between Princeton and the Marines, most of the public, I think, will side with the latter. They comprise, after all, an institution that merits our esteem. The military is open to new thinking and encourages debating different ideas. It believes in performance and accountability. It foregoes moral preening. It has by and large created racial harmony within its ranks by not obsessing on racial differences. And while acknowledging that our country is far from perfect, they have veneration for America and its achievements.
The contrast between the military and some of our elite universities therefore could hardly be more dramatic. Mr. Obama has nominated for the Supreme Court a person who sided with the latter against the former.
Welcome to Elena Kagan's America.