Supreme Court nominee never filled Harvard Indian law post
Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama's nominee to the to the U.S. Supreme Court, never filled an Indian law post at Harvard Law School, where she served as dean.

The Oneida Nation of New York funded the The Oneida Indian Nation Professorship of Law with a $3 million donation. Kagan never hired a permanent, tenured faculty member dedicated to Indian law in her six years at the school.

“That is a bitter shame, since numerous American Indian law profs are objectively qualified to be tenured at Harvard,” Matthew L.M. Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law Center at Michigan State University told Indian Country Today.

Other than serving on the American Indian Empowerment Fund, which was established by the Oneida Nation, Kagan lacks a record on Indian law or Indian issues. When she worked at the White House during the Clinton administration, she wrote a memo complaining about the length of time it took the Interior Department and the Justice Department to submit a document about law enforcement in Indian Country, The Washington Post reported.

"After however many weeks, DOJ/DOI sent this over Friday night with the 'request' that we issue it by Tuesday," Kagan wrote in the memo.

The Post story doesn't identify the document she was talking about but it might have been this report or this press release about a tribal consultation letter.

Since joining the Obama administration as Solicitor General at the Department of Justice, she has written briefs in at least five Indian law cases. All of them went against tribal interests.

Get the Story:
Scholars question Kagan’s minority commitment (Indian Country Today 5/14)
Kagan's firsthand White House experience is rare on Supreme Court (The Washington Post 5/14)

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