Skip to comments.Supreme Court Appears Sympathetic To Campus Recruiting
Posted on 12/06/2005 8:23:41 PM PST by MissouriConservative
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold a law that says colleges cannot turn away military recruiters in protest of the Pentagon's policy on gays if the universities also want to receive federal money.
New Chief Justice John Roberts said schools unhappy with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have a simple solution: turn down federal cash.
And Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is retiring, said colleges can post disclaimers on campus noting their objections to military policy.
Law school campuses have become the latest battleground over the policy allowing gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves.
Solicitor General Paul Clement said that when the government picks up the tab for things like research and education grants, the military also is entitled to demand "a fair shot" in terms of equal access for its recruiters to a university's "best and brightest."
Clement said the military is receiving nothing more than any other donor would expect.
A few justices, including David Souter, worried that the free speech rights of law schools could be hindered by Congress' action of tying funding to military recruiters' access.
"The law schools are taking a position on First Amendment grounds, and that position is in interference with military recruiting, no question about it," Souter said.
More court members seemed concerned about military recruitment in the post-Sept. 11 world.
Federal financial support of colleges tops $35 billion a year, and many college leaders say they could not forgo that money.
About a half dozen supporters of the law, all members of the same Topeka, Kan., family, waved signs, with slogans like "America is Doomed," and yelled at reporters and passers-by in front of the court before the argument. They dragged behind them U.S. flags tied around their ankles as they paced the wet sidewalk.
"The Supreme Court shouldn't even have to debate about this," said Rebekah Phelps-Roper, 18.
Some students camped out overnight to get seats for the argument. Dan Noble, 26, a gay Yale Law School student said that "you feel discriminated against when some recruiters will interview your fellow students but won't interview you."
Immediately after the argument, the Supreme Court released an audio tape to news organizations because of interest in the case. Cameras are not allowed in court.
Many law schools forbid the participation of recruiters from public agencies and private companies that have discriminatory policies.
Law schools have "a Hobson's choice: Either the university must forsake millions of dollars of federal funds largely unrelated to the law school, or the law school must abandon its commitment to fight discrimination," justices were told in a filing by the Association of American Law Schools.
The federal law, known as the Solomon Amendment after its first congressional sponsor, mandates that universities, including their law and medical schools and other branches, give the military the same access as other recruiters or forfeit money from federal agencies like the Education, Labor and Transportation departments.
Dozens of groups have filed briefs on both sides of the case, the first gay-rights related appeal since a contentious 2003 Supreme Court ruling that struck down laws criminalizing gay sex.
The latest case stems from a lawsuit against the Pentagon by a group of law schools and professors claiming their free-speech rights are being violated, on grounds they are forced to associate with military recruiters or promote their campus appearances.
Free-speech cases are often divisive at the court. If Samuel Alito, President Bush's nominee to succeed O'Connor, is confirmed by the Senate before the case is decided he could be called on to break any tie vote.
A panel of the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found it was reasonably likely that the law violated free speech rights. Alito serves on that appeals court but was not involved in the case.
I say that if they are truly principled, they will turn down the federal money. If they don't, they are lying through their liberal money grubbing teeth. Let them put their (government) money where their mouth is.
On CSPAN right now. Scalia is awesome. John Roberts is going to be outstanding.
They have to decide what is more important: their gooberment subsidies, or their loyalty to butt-bandits. The irony is delicious.
"John Roberts is going to be outstanding."
I like it when he said that all they had to do was turn down federal money. Why do law professors have to make things so complicated? Or could there be a hidden agenda? (I already know the answer too....lol)
It is clear these colleges do have viable alternatives to raise the money required. I don't know about you but I find it interesting that 35 Billion dollars goes to fund colleges and the cost of tuition is still skyrocketing. It seems they are operating under the college entitlement system. Hobson has long been turned out on his ear and his ponies have been worked to the bone.
Maybe they can turn to their homosexual donors to make up the money lost from the government? Let them all put their money up and stand up for what they believe in.
The Supreme Court will set them all straight, no pun entended.
Is she related to Fred?
The trouble with THAT idea is that the liberal fag mafia wants to make all of US pay for the spread of their perverted lifestyles.
They don't want to have to personally support their agenda - they want to use the police power of gooberment to do it for them.
I just want colleges to come clean on where the money is going. It's getting so that most people can't afford college even though thousands of our tax dollars are going into them like a bottomless pit.
I was thinking Mr. Roper....lol
You know who wins that one.
Money talks, butt-bandits walk (lightly in the loafers.)
I was surprised not to hear or read anything about what I think is an equivalent dilemma: a lawsuit settlement that requires the parties not to reveal the settlement itself. Isn't that the same idea? You have to relinquish your Free Speech Rights to get the cash, and that's by order of the court. Isn't that the same principle in this FAIR case?
Very unlikely that this can be construed as even an inkling of a change in the Supremies voracious taste for political activism and legislating from the bench!
This line brought a smile to my face because it really is THAT simple. I think I might be in love with Chief Justice Roberts! (ha!)
Because Breyer asked the best question in the oral arguments to the FAIR attorney, to wit, "Why isn't more speech better than less speech?"(paraphrased).
Roberts was very succinct. You don't want the military then don't take the money. Cites precedent of Dole.
Yup. But then this one was roadkill from the beginning. SCOTUS favors the war on terror.
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