Paul’s Perambulations

July 9, 2010

A truth about Kagen — Supreme Court Nominee

Filed under: Education,Politics — admin @ 8:30 am

Glen Beck declares that Harvard banned military recruiters from campus when Kagen was Dean of Harvard Law School. Not so. Harvard’s Office of Career Counseling followed a policy, fully in accord with U.S. law, of not scheduling any recruiters who discriminated, and the military met the definition of a discriminating entity. In fact the military DID regularly recruit on campus because it was invited to do so by an official student organization, the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. This arrangement was well known and advertised, fully in accord with traditional academic freedom. There were conflicting legal issues involved in this case, and Harvard (along with many other law schools) chose to follow the non-discrimination law with respect to its own institutional policy. But their policy in this regard was not forced on other campus organizations. Harvard’s policy was eventually challenged, taken to the courts, and found to be constitutional.

One difficulty with Beck, Fox News, and the like, is that a one sentence error (I won’t call it a lie, because that word implies intent, and a sense of fear can lead people to believe the grossest of errors) may require many sentences to set right by telling the whole story (cf. http://mediamatters.org/ http://mediamatters.org/research/201007080004)

All my life I have been committed to liberal (literally translated “freely open/unlimited”) education, and I am disturbed by efforts to the contrary. A comparable oft-repeated “error” is that ROTC was kicked off campuses in the 60’sand 70’s. As I have written elsewhere, some Universities reviewed their policies and decided that if ROTC were to receive full academic credit for its courses, their courses should come under the same academic review that applied to all other courses for credit. There was always the alternative that an on-campus ROTC program continue but not for academic credit. A colleague of mine speaks about receiving academic credit for an ROTC course that, despite its high-sounding name, was effectively marching and drill.  To get academic credit for marching is a problem for me, as one who sincerely believes in education and development of the intellect. This is a reason why many institutions never accepted ROTC in the first place.

1 Comment »

  1. “If Elena Kagan — whose confirmation hearings begin today — is confirmed, that number (of WASPS) will be reduced to zero, and the court will consist of six Catholics and three Jews.”

    Quotation from the NYTmes article at
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28feldman.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

    Gee, does that mean I’m a victim of discrimination and need to claim my rights for a WASP member of the Supreme Court? How can you tell me there are no WASP lawyers up to the competence level of the other Court members? Maybe it’s time for a little Affirmative Action here. (This is NOT me, as I would hope my readers already know.)

    Comment by admin — July 9, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

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