“Elena Kagan as dean [of Harvard Law School] had such a strong interest in the issues of Indian country and Indian law that she allocated funds from her discretionary funding to support work in that area,” present dean Martha Minow tells Rob Capriccioso of Indian Country Today, here.
One concern deals with the fact that Kagan failed to appoint someone to Harvard Law’s Oneida Chair,, largely supported by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York with the understanding that a full-time tenured faculty member would be dedicated to Indian law. Still, Capriccioso talks to folks who say that shouldn’t necessarily be a decisive factor in whether to support Kagan:
But Robert Anderson, who was selected after Kagan’s tenure to hold a 5-year guest position as Oneida chair, said her actions were consistent with what she could do in her position.
“It’s not really the dean’s decision to hire a person with tenure; the faculty ultimately has to decide,” said the Minnesota Chippewa tribal citizen who directs the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington.
Anderson said he supports Kagan’s high court nomination, given her background and his knowledge of her ideology from when they both served in the Clinton administration. He’s also confident that she met many scholars at Harvard who imparted the importance of understanding Indian law.
Meanwhile, the Native American Rights Fund has circulated a briefing paper that says Kagan “offers another fresh opportunity for Indian country,” and leaders of the United South and Eastern Tribes approved a resolution supporting her.
Tags: Chippewa, Elena Kagan, Harvard Law School, Martha Minow, Native American Law Center, Native American Rights Fund, Oneida Chair, Oneida Nation, U.S. Supreme Court, United South and Eastern Tribes, University of Washington