The Supreme Court will hear an important case today that pits anti-war academics against the Defense Department. The moonbats plan to be out on the SCOTUS steps in Washington, D.C. in full force and on campuses across the country.
Peter Berkowitz at NRO has a good overview. An excerpt:
FAIR (Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.) is an association of 36 law schools and law faculties (24 of which are willing to be named publicly). The law professors — if you count friend of the Court briefs this includes a substantial number of faculty from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, other top ten law schools, and many others from laws schools from around the country — are challenging the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment. Enacted in 1994 and revised several times, the Solomon Amendment today requires universities either to permit military recruiters to come to campus and meet with students “in a manner that is at least equal in quality and scope to the access to campuses and to students that is provided to any other employer,” or lose the federal funds universities receive in support of academic work.
The law professors contend that the Solomon Amendment violates their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. It does this, they claim, by forcing law schools to create an exception to their generally applicable anti-discrimination policy, which bans employers that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation from recruiting on campus.
Under this policy, law schools want to bar military recruiters, or wish to subject them to special conditions when they come on campus. This is because of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning gays and lesbians, which was instituted in 1993 under President Clinton. The law professors, however, do not challenge the constitutionality of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Nor do they seek to persuade a majority of their fellow citizens to vote into Congress representatives who will change the law.
Instead, they argue that since universities cannot afford to forego federal funding — Yale University received around $300,000,000 this year from the U.S. government — the Solomon Amendment coerces law schools to accord the military privileges law schools wish to reserve for employers that honor the law school’s anti-discrimination policy. In so doing, the law professors maintain, the Solomon Amendment compels law schools to send a false message — that they approve of the military’s discrimination against gays and lesbians — and compels law schools to associate with an organization — the military — that sullies the ideals that law professors cherish.
The law professors should lose their case on straightforward legal grounds. The Solomon Amendment does not abridge their freedom of speech or association. It leaves the professors entirely free to express their disagreement, their disapproval, indeed their disgust with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And it creates no impediments to professors conveying their opinions loudly and clearly through teaching, publishing articles in scholarly journals and in the popular press, organizing campus demonstrations and sit-ins, giving lectures on campus and off, holding forth on radio and TV, blogging, and the like.
Nor does the Solomon Amendment abridge the professors’ freedom of association. No law professor is compelled to be seen with or talk to the military recruiters on the few and brief occasions they set foot on campus. And no reasonable person — certainly not a law student properly trained by his professors in the canons of evidence and argument — could conclude from the recruiters’ short and infrequent visits that law professors approve of the military’s presence on campus. If there is the slightest misunderstanding — among students, administrators, fellow colleagues, or the general public — law professors, by their very vocation, could hardly be better placed to correct the public record.
Read the whole thing.
Update from Breitbart/AP:
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 waved signs, with slogans such as “America’s Doomed,” and yelled at reporters and passers-by in front of the court before the argument.
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