On his radio show today, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that as the dean of Harvard Law School, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan dropped a constitutional law requirement from the curriculum because she "apparently decided that international law was more important than constitutional law." He later added: "Harvard does not require you -- because of Kagan -- to take a course on constitutional law."
It's simply not true.
Earlier this week we debunked that myth, which surfaced in a May 21 Americans United for Life memo and soon made its way to a May 25 Washington Times editorial chock-full of false claims and distortions.
The reality is, the curriculum changes Kagan instituted as dean, which were unanimously approved by the Harvard Law School faculty, added "new first-year courses in international and comparative law, legislation and regulation, and complex problem solving" and condensed the "traditional first-year curriculum (contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law, and property)." Kagan didn't "drop" or "replace" con-law -- it wasn't required in the first place. Prior to her deanship -- in 2002, for example -- Harvard did not require J.D. students to take a constitutional law class. Moreover, according to Kagan (who taught constitutional law at Harvard herself), the addition of a 1L "Legislation and Regulation" requirement, was designed to "naturally lead into, and enable students to get more out of, advanced courses in the 2L and 3L years, on legislation, administrative law, a wide range of regulatory subjects (e.g., environmental law, securities law, telecommunications law), and constitutional law."
Beck was reading - in part - from a May 28 CNSNews.com article that also picked up the falsehood. The CNS report quoted Robert Alt, "senior legal fellow and deputy director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation," falsely claiming Kagan "instituted three new courses to the required curriculum and, in so doing, got rid of a requirement to take constitutional law."