Supreme Court nominee faces questions about gay rights

Sun. May 9, 2010 12:00 AM by News Staff

supreme court nominee elena kagan

photo credit // doc searls/wikimedia commons

Kagan challenged at Harvard over military recruitment

Washington, D.C. - On Monday, it appears that President Obama will nominate current Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be his choice for the Supreme Court.

This won't be Kagan's first round in front of a senate confirmation hearing; last summer she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the solicitor general post by a 61-31 vote.

However, this summer she may face even tougher questions about her positions on DADT and gay marriage.

"There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage," she said last summer during her confirmation hearing.

That's not keeping conservative groups from piling on and warning senators they better vote no this time around, or else.

"Ms. Kagan's extreme rhetoric makes it highly likely that she also favors same-sex marriage, both as a matter of policy and as a supposed federal constitutional right," reads a letter from he American Family Association and Focus on the Family.

Kagan will also face questions about how she handled a military recruiting controversy when she was Dean of Harvard Law School.

That controversy started in 2002, when Harvard reversed decades of tradition and started allowing the military to recruit on campus. Kagan became Dean the next year and had to decide whether to continue allowing recruiters at the school. More than $300 million a year in federal funding was at stake.

In the end, Kagan let recruiters continue to use a school office. However, she said she hated it.

"The military policy that we at the law school are overlooking is terribly wrong, terribly wrong in depriving gay men and lesbians of the opportunity to serve their country," she told a reunion group made of LGBT Harvard alumni.

"I abhor the military's discriminatory recruitment policy," she said in an email to colleagues and students.

On top of her previously expressed legal opinions, there are also rumors that Kagan is a lesbian. Last month the White House blew up when a conservative blogger for CBS News reported that she is indeed a lesbian. CBS retracted that blog and issued an apology.