Challenging what he calls "academic arrogance," Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., has drafted a letter to the top Republicans and Democrats on the Appropriations Committee asking them to deny some federal funds to schools that refuse to allow on-campus military visits.
Kline's move was spurred by a November federal court decision holding that universities have a First Amendment right to bar military recruiters whose hiring policies discriminate against gays and lesbians.
"The citizens of the United States benefit from a well-trained military composed of the best and brightest individuals," said Kline, a retired Marine colonel. "By denying recruiters the chance to offer these young men and women the opportunity to serve, these colleges are doing a disservice to the safety and security of the United States."
Somebody should explain to me why we want Kline's "best and brightest" now but gave them all student deferments during the last shooting war.
On to the merits. Kline is right that it's hypocritical to accept money from the Defense Department, but bar military recruiters from campus. I suspect, however, that the colleges mentioned in the article: Hamline University, Harvard Law School, and William Mitchell College of Law get any military contracts.
Of course, the two pillars of military recruitment remain the same: avoid unpopular wars without an exit strategy and keep hope dead in economically depressed communities.
Per your comment, can I assume that this is only being proposed for private institutions of higher education? I only ask because I thought it was a given that public institutions must allow ROTC and recruiting on campus. If not, those institutions would not receive federal dollars. I could be wrong on that however as I have never researched the topic.
By 12:06 PM, at
You are right in that all the schools mentioned in the story are private institutions. The case in question is Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights v. Rumsfeld, 390 F.3d 219 (2004). The Court noted that the federal government cannot impose a penalty which would discourage the exercise of constitutional rights. For example, Congress cannot pass a law fining someone $5,000 for criticizing the President. The court went on to find that the Solomon Amendment imposed a penalty which would infringe on the plaintiffs' freedom of speech.
I have only skimmed the detailed ruling. I see nothing in the decision that would limit its application to private institutions.