About six minutes in to the speech Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, focuses on a center for Islamic studies founded at Harvard during Elena Kagan’s tenure as the Dean of Harvard Law. An excerpt:
Around the same time that Dean Kagan was campaigning to exclude military recruiters, citing what she saw as the evils of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Harvard University accepted $20 million from a member of the Saudi royal family to establish a center for Islamic studies and law. The Obama State Department report concerning Saudi Arabia noted “under Shah Reyarks [sic from transcript] as interpreted by Saudi Arabia’s sexual activity between two persons of the same gender, is punishable by death or flogging.” She was perfectly willing to obstruct the military, which has liberated countless Muslims from the hate and tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban but it seems she was willing to sit on the sidelines as Harvard created a center funded and dedicated to foreign leaders presiding over a legal system that would violate what would appear to be her positions. She fought the ability of our own soldiers to access campus resources but not those who spread the oppressive tenets of Shari’a-type law.
The center wasn’t merely dedicated to Islamic law but all Islamic studies and was open to any part of the university, not just the Law School. Yes, Kagan as Dean did not sponsor military recruiters at Harvard Law because of her opposition to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell — though that was a moderated stance, she could joined a coalition of law schools that actually challenged the law in court. But saying she tacitly supported Shari’a-type law because she didn’t oppose the founding of a center outside of her school built to promote cultural understanding seems like a bit of a stretch — actually a really big stretch. If this is all Sessions has on her, her confirmation hearing really is going to be a snoozer.