On Hardball Chris Matthews reports that conservatives are angry about Elena Kagan’s decision to deny military recruiters equal access to students of Harvard Law School while she was the dean. Matthews turns to Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Daily Beast political writer Peter Beinart to explain whether Kagan’s decision was justified. Beinart argues that Kagan should apologize to the military because she hurt the relationship between the military and the academy. But Harris-Lacewell disagrees because the American Association of Law Schools has a policy that employers who discriminate in their hiring practices should not be allowed to recruit on law school campuses. So in this case, Harris-Lacewell argues, Kagan made the right decision.

“Part of what a law school dean is meant to do is represent the values of the current legal environment,” Harris-Lacewell says. “This is precisely what you want from a Supreme Court justice, someone who has strong opinions who nevertheless provides as much access as she can…and complies by the [law].”

—Morgan Ashenfelter