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Supreme Court Backs Military Recruitment on Campus

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posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 03:13 PM
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The Supreme Court decided today that universities and colleges must grant military recruiters equal access to their campuses or lose their federal funding. In the case of Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, or FAIR, No. 04-1152, lawyers for FAIR argued that the Solomon Act, which requires that all employment recruiters must have equal access to campuses, violated the First Amendment rights of free speech and the right of free association of the faculty and students. Chief Justice Roberts stated in his opinion that granting military recruiters access to campuses in no way limited the schools' right to express dissatisfaction with the military's employment policies and that students and faculty were free to not associate with military recruiters even though those recruiters were granted access to the campus. Financial aid for students is unaffected by this decision.
 



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The Supreme Court ruled today, 8 to 0, that colleges and universities that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, even if people in the academic community deplore the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay people.

Ending a decade-long battle in favor of the Defense Department, the court rejected the argument of law school faculty members that being forced to associate with military recruiters violated their First Amendment rights to free speech and association.

"Law schools 'associate' with military recruiters in the sense that they interact with them, but recruiters are not part of the school," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the court. "Students and faculty are free to associate to voice their disapproval of the military's message."




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Chief Justice Roberts is correct, I believe, that the school can't have it both ways. If they are willing to accept federal dollars, then they must be willing to allow military recruiters on campus, even if the schools oppose the federally mandated recruitment policies of the military and that allowing military recruiters on campus forces no one to associate with the recruiters or prevents anyone from expressing dissatisfaction with recruitment policies. Military recruitment is vital to our national security and hindering military recruitment among the most highly qualified population negatively affects military readiness, which is not a good thing in these times of war.

[edit on 2006/3/6 by GradyPhilpott]




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