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Two Wrong Deans Are No Better Than One

Dean Clark's lame attempt to defend Dean Kagan.

12:43 PM, May 11, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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In today's Wall Street Journal, former Harvard Law School Dean Robert Clark, defends the policy of refusing the U.S. military the assistance of the school's Office of Career Services, which was continued by his successor, Elena Kagan.

In the course of his op-ed, Clark refers throughout to "the military's policy" of don't ask, don't tell. Yet, as Dean Clark surely knows, this policy was and is the country's policy, not the military's. We do have civilian control of the military in the United States, and this policy is based on legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president. So, to repeat the obvious point: Why punish the military for the policy of the government--in this case the Clinton administration?

Furthermore: Did it occur to no one at Harvard Law School, especially after 9/11, how offensive this exercise in moral preening and posturing might be to other Americans? Law firms who represent all kinds of reprehensible characters and foreign governments get assistance to recruit on campus--as they should. The one institution that was judged too soiled to be assisted to recruit Harvard law students was the U.S. military.

Two Wrong Deans Are No Better Than One

Dean Kagan should and will be asked to defend her position. And Dean Clark's op-ed won't help--as he provides no substantive defense of Harvard Law School's choice. We are apparently simply supposed to stop raising the issue because this was the policy of not one, but two--maybe more!--Harvard law deans. But two deans can be as wrong as one.

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