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Although many law schools were disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding military recruiters on campus, it most likely has opened the door for more protests over the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The court’s determination that “students and faculty are free to associate to voice their disapproval of the military’s message,” could lead to full-throttle demonstrations in the fall recruiting season from law schools opposing the military’s policy on gay personnel. The recent decision required law schools opposed to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to give military recruiters accommodations equal to those enjoyed by other potential employers, or risk the loss of federal funding to their own schools and their affiliated universities. Rumsfeld v. FAIR, No. 04-1152. But the ruling also has freed those schools to turn up the volume on their disapproval. “There was a lot of concern of retaliatory measures,” said Carol Chomsky, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School who is on a committee at her school that is determining its next step in light of the decision. She said that before the ruling, schools were uncertain about how loudly they could voice their opposition to the military policy without running afoul of the Solomon Amendment, the law that requires schools to grant equal access to military recruiters. But during oral argument before the Supreme Court in December, U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement said that the Solomon Amendment did not prohibit law schools, as institutions, from organizing protests or engaging in speech against the policy. He argued that law schools could protest as long as they did not prevent access to military recruiters. “You mean, they could organize a student protest at the hiring interview room, so that everybody jeers when the applicant comes in the door and the school could organize that?” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked Clement. “I think that would be equal access,” Clement replied. A call to Clement was directed to a Department of Justice spokesman, who declined comment. But Joshua Rosenkranz, an attorney with Heller Ehrman who represented the group of law schools opposing the amendment at the Supreme Court, anticipates plenty of action next fall. “I think [military] recruiters will long for the good old days when they recruited quietly and effectively off campus,” he said. Still others aren’t expecting much new. “We’re pretty vocal, but I don’t see any changes,” said Larry Kramer, dean of Stanford Law School. He added, however, that military recruiting on his campus is uncommon, since few students express an interest in joining. For several years, law schools permitted military recruiters on their campuses to avoid losing federal funds, but did not provide them with the same accommodations as other recruiters, a practice the military began bucking following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The law was modified in 2002 to deny federal funding to entire universities, and changed again in 2005 to require equal access be given. In general, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), a consortium that comprises most of the accredited law schools in the nation, prohibits its members from allowing on their campuses recruiters that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation. But amid the permutations to the statute, the AALS has allowed its member schools to grant equal access. But it also has required them to take so-called “ameliorative steps” to convey to their students that the military’s policy toward gays violates the schools’ anti-discrimination policies. Kent Greenfield, a professor at Boston College Law School and the founder of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR)-a group of more than 30 law schools and faculty members who argued that the military’s policy violates the rules of the AALS-anticipates much more “institutional protest” to develop. “A lot of schools stayed fairly accommodating while this was pending,” he said. “I think the schools themselves will become more vocal both internally and externally.”

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