Monday, March 06, 2006

Rumsfeld v. Fair

The US Supreme Court ruled today that the Solomon Amendment, which denies federal grants to universities that do not give equal access to military recruiters as they would to civilian recruiters, does not violate the US Constitution. The case was brought by an organization of Law Schools that wanted to restrict access for the military because of discrimination against homosexuals.

The opinion for the majority is written by Chief Justice Roberts and is very good. Especially convincing is the argument that the Constitution actually grants Congress 'broad and sweeping powers' (US v. O'Brien) to 'provide for the common defense' and to 'raise and support armies' (Art. 1 of Constitution). Congress therefore has the right to demand access for military recruiters to campuses directly, or as is the case in the Solomon Amendment, indirectly.

The Chief Justice is, however, a little arrogant when he wrote that the Supreme Court previously have "held that high school students can appreciate the difference between speech a school sponsors and speech the school permits because legally required to do so... Surely students have not lost that ability by the time they get to law school."

Although this is a good judgment, the Solomon Amendment is in my opinion a bad law, as it seeks to force military recruiting into Universities where their policy of discrimination is disliked.

For more about the case see the New York Times here and the opinion of the Supreme Court here.


Post a Comment

<< Home