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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Delay's story suddenly makes sense

Posted by: Hammer / 11:19 AM

Kline supports military recruiting on campus:
As the Bush administration faces an indefinite timetable for keeping troops in Iraq, a Minnesota congressman is pressing House leaders to reject special funding requests from colleges and universities that bar military recruiters.

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."

Oh, John Kline! Sadly, you're too late. If only you had pushed this initiative at the University of Houston in the late 1960s, maybe Tom DeLay would not have suffered the indignity of volunteering to serve in Vietnam, but being turned down because all the spots were taken by minorities. If only recruiters knew then what John Kline knows now: the secret to fulfilling recruiting goals is to focus on college campuses, not areas of high unemployment.

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 Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 PM  

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.

By Blogger Hammer, at 12:28 PM  

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