Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to consider whether law schools that refuse to allow military recruiters on campus because of the military’s stance on gays could suffer the loss of federal funds. By granting certiorari in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), the justices will revisit a 2004 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit that allowed the schools to restrict, without taking a financial hit, the presence of military recruiters on campus because the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy violated the schools’ policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case centers on the legality of the Solomon Amendment, a 1994 law named after then-Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y) that conditions federal funds to universities on their giving military recruiters the same access to their campuses that other employers receive. Until 2001, the government continued to provide the funds as long as military recruiters were given some access to campuses. Many law schools accepted this arrangement, but did not promote the military recruiters in the same way as they did other employers. But after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Defense Department demanded equal access and threatened to pull federal funding from law schools if it didn’t obtain it. Law schools receive millions of dollars annually in federal aid that is used to fund a broad range of programs. “The Solomon Amendment forces the law school to violate its own policy and actively support military recruiters who come onto campus to engage in the very discriminatory hiring practices that the law school condemns,” wrote E. Joshua Rosenkranz, a partner at Heller Ehrman in New York and counsel of record for the coalition of law schools and law school professors that form FAIR. In its brief, the government argued that “[e]ffective recruitment is essential to sustain an all-volunteer military, particularly in a time of war.” Wrote acting Solicitor General Paul Clement: “If institutions do not wish to associate with military recruiters or their speech, they may decline to associate with the federal funding. Neither the association, nor the receipt of federal funds, nor the equal access policy is compelled.” The Court will hear the case in its upcoming fall term. No specific date has been set for the arguments. As this case wound its way through the lower courts, a number of judges, especially in the 3rd Circuit, recused themselves from the proceedings. Lawyers involved in the case speculated that the recusals stemmed from judges having a connection to one of the 31 law schools and law school faculties that made up the FAIR coalition. However, despite the fact that four high court justices have a personal or financial connection to the law schools in the coalition, none have recused themselves. Bethany Broida is an assistant editor at Legal Times . Intern Marya Lucas contributed to this report.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.