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Nearly the entire faculty of Stanford Law School has signed an e-mail to students encouraging those interested in a career in the military to meet recruiters off campus, a move that one Stanford alum argues puts the school at risk of violating the Solomon Amendment. Paul Mirengoff, a 1974 Stanford law graduate and now partner at a Washington law firm, has made three entries on his blog, Power Line News, that stop short of saying Stanford is in violation � which the law school says emphatically it is not � but criticize the school for discouraging military recruiters. “The Solomon Amendment is an intersection of politics, policy and the war on terrorism,” said Mirengoff. “The whole issue of elite universities discouraging military recruitment on campus is a disadvantage to our country. The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is controversial but it is the law of the land.” Mirengoff asked that his law firm not be named. Showing respect? At issue is an e-mail signed by 80% of the law school faculty, including the dean, Larry Kramer, asking “those students who have a genuine interest in working for the military to contact JAG Corps recruiters directly and to arrange off-campus interviews, rather than express interest in the military’s participation in Spring [on-campus interviews].” The e-mail also states that “[b]y meeting with military recruiters off campus, you would permit the law school to keep in force its nondiscrimination policy.” The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy violates the nondiscrimination policies for job recruiters of nearly all law schools. The Solomon Amendment requires universities to give military recruiters the same access to students as civilian job recruiters or lose federal funding. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Solomon Amendment in a March 2006 ruling. Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, 547 U.S. 47. Kramer said Stanford is in full compliance with the Solomon Amendment. He noted the Supreme Court decision expressly allowed individuals and institutions to speak out against “don’t ask, don’t tell.” “This letter was an expression of individual views and not of school policy or of anyone speaking in an official capacity; but as the Supreme Court made clear in [ Rumsfeld], the letter could in fact have expressed official school position without running afoul of the Solomon Amendment,” Kramer wrote. Kramer noted that Stanford routinely gauges student interest in meeting with job recruiters to determine if enough are interested to justify the allocation of space and staff time to set up the interviews. The U.S. Department of Defense referred calls to the U.S. Department of Justice, which had no comment at press time.

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