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.
Military recruiters are hired by the government. Military recruiters discriminate; therefore, the government discriminates. The law schools do not want any connection with discrimination; therefore, they do not want to associate with the government. The USSC should uphold their first amendment rights and have them return every damn dime they ever accepted.
It reminds me of a senator interviewed one time that said the left belives in free speech as long as it is their free speech.
This issue also reminds me of an educator years ago that summed up what our institutions of higher (lower) learning have become..."Ivy-covered North Koreas".
You can watch this at www.c-span.org
And the big question is .. Will these liberal college back up their words
How can the free speech rights of the law schools be upheld by stifling the free speech rights of the military? Don't the students have the right to hear both sides? Seems to me like the law school professors are talking out of both sides of their mouths. (No surprise there.)
You can watch the whole thing anytime (at least for now) at c-span.org
One thing about it - Scalia will make the side he agrees with prove their case. Tough questions for all.
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.
I think I like this guy.
Watching it now...what an assinine line of questioning from Souter. What an error to have placed him on this Court.
I think there's a slight chance Stevens might even be on board. Probably not Ginsburg or Souter, based on their questions.
This is the line that slays me:
"And Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is retiring, said colleges can post disclaimers on campus noting their objections to military policy."
WTF does that have to do with the CONSTITUTIONAL issue here? That the schools have other methods for making their opinions known is irrelevant to the question of whether it is permissible for the federal government to give money or loans with strings attached. That the federal government has a right to put strings on its expenditures is precedentially supported going back more than a century, maybe more than two. She is such a dumb...oh, what's the word...bunt...hunt...runt...geez, I can't recall, but she is a complete affirmative action hire.
Right, and when the geriatric liberal John Paul Stevens asked why couldn't the military have a separate recruiting facility on campus, away from the law schools, Roberts asked, "Separate but equal?" Stevens, oblivious to the irony, said, "Yes."
I have the opinion that for most college is merely a money pit. I think this is born out by statistics and drop out rates. Learning today is viewed in a myopic fashion as if $$$ translates directly into knowledge. I think the best thing the government could do is require universal transfer and standardization of credits for all colleges small and large that receive federal funds. I also believe that establishing more online educational resources and making them available via libraries for self learning would be more helpful to those in lower income brackets than the fueling of skyrocketing tuiton costs. The choice should not be between being poor for a lifetime or taking on the yoke of a slave to get the degree you need to move up in life. Open source degrees and learning would benefit everyone throughout society. We have become too soft and dependent on being spoon fed and look too highly on those institutions of learning as if they are a source of some magical intellectual salvation. This myth like our myths concerning doctors and the government continue to keep us in chains and we pull like good chattel dancing and entertaining the kings.
LOL. Roberts has a rapier wit. My high hopes and expectatons for Roberts are being fulfilled. Once Alito is on the court there will be four true blue conservatives. Hopefully, they can retrieve the prodigal Jusitice Kennedy and form a consistent conservative majority.
"WTF does that have to do with the CONSTITUTIONAL issue here?"
She was just giving them an example of how their free speech was clearly not being restrained.
"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."
That's because colleges have to fund for diversification programs and alternative education. This opened up the doors for minorities and foreign students that could get a college degree in commuting to school, underwater african basket weaving and womens studies, which by the way is not open to men.
This caused schools to hire more teachers, build more classrooms and of course someone has to pay for that.
I could not agree more. I just finished my Masters degree at a great university and I am headed towards my Ph.d. When I complete my journey, I will be so badly in debt that my children and grandchildren will still be paying it off. I have received a fantastic education, but at what cost?
It used to be you got what you paid for, but in this day and age that is not necessarily so anymore. There are colleges out there that charge an arm, a leg, and your first born. When you get your degree, you are no more equipped for the job market than when you started. Then you have the Bill Gates of the world...no college and yet still the worlds richest man. Is college overrated? Is real life a better educator than liberals in their ivory towers? That is the gamble.
"Is she related to Fred?"
That was what I was wondering when I read that. I bet she is.
"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."
If they dislike the "don't ask, don't tell" policy they ought to turn down the Federal Cash, since their beef is with the Federal Government, not with the military. It was Congress who passed the law and President Clinton who signed it. The military is just following orders.
"I think the best thing the government could do is require universal transfer and standardization of credits for all colleges small and large that receive federal funds."
No. I am a conservative. The less the government messes with higher education, the better. There are all sorts of colleges and universities operating at all levels of difficulty and expense.
My daughter is a senior at Rice University. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering. Rice is a good school and she is getting a good education. Rice has also been very good in providing aids and loans so that it has not been too hard for us to pay for her education.
She already has a job offer in hand. The offer includes a handsome signing bonus. She will be able to pay off all her loans in her first year of employment and after that it is all gravy.
Here's more reporting that I found very helpful and interesting
John Roberts is fantastic!
Yeah but most of it probably went to help fund the college Presidents Salaries.
Actually, it goes to the heart of the "1st Amendment" claim of the universities. O'Connor's statement shows that the univeristy has options available to it (citing one particular example) that don't require banning recruiters outright, therefore there is no compelling reason, even if the university's argument is accepted, to overturn the law.
Typical of "tolerant" liberal Souter: turning free speech rights on its head. The schools can say whatever they want, anytime they want. What the schools want to do, however, is take away the ability for and/or refuse access to individuals and entities, as well as their own students, to "speak" out on issues about which the school liberals don't agree.
Congratulations on your Masters. I think for some careers college is the only option but I also know that for considerably less a person can get certified in a specialized IT technology and be making 6 figures in less than 2 years. I can't imagine the shock (though it shouldn't be) for a liberal arts major when they get out of school and realize they aren't going to be making the big bucks basket weaving.
Well they are already messing with it and they are unlikely to quit messing with it. I'm glad things have worked out for your daughter you should be proud. I believe that when the government provides tax money to institutions of higher education they should attach certain strings. One of the most frustrating things is to spend what is thought to be huge amounts of money to find that only a fraction of your credits transfer.
Thanks! I'll certainly take a look.
"...the law school must abandon its commitment to fight discrimination,..."
So let me get this straight here ...
If I don't get high scores on my SAT or meet academic prerequisites for admission into said law school, and I don't have the several hundred thousand bux for tuition, then they are going to DISCRIMINATE against me and not let me study there at my leisure and award me a degree / licence in due course (whether I deserve one or not)?
And they are going to DISCRIMINATE against military Recruiters who only want to save their sorry snotty liberal elite heiniez from Islammofacist extermination by not letting them set foot on their sacred campi?
All the while having their sanctamonious bloomers in a twist because the US Military is a little hesitant to allow the militant, communist wing of the homosexual lobby to infiltrate and take over our Nations' defence (as they apparantly have American academia)?
And these are the same elitist endoctrination centers that are churning out the majority of our politicians and judges??!
God help us!... Quick; before He is ruled unconstitutional and run out of town along with the homophobic Recruiting Sergeant!
:-) You are most welcome.