The Solomon Amendment

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

The Supreme Court is going to review a lower court decision invalidating the Solomon Amendment.

The amendment denies federal funds to schools that do not allow military recruiters on campus.

Justices will review a lower court ruling in favor of 25 law schools that restricted recruiters in protest of the Pentagon’s policy of excluding openly gay people from military service.

That ruling, by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, invalidated a 1994 federal law requiring law schools to give the military full access or else lose their funding, saying it infringed on law schools’ free speech rights.

The Supreme Court will hear the case during its next term, which begins in October.

The law, known as the Solomon Amendment, has been controversial for law schools that have nondiscrimination policies barring any recruiter — government or private — from campus if it unfairly bases hiring on race, gender or sexual orientation.

The long and short answer should be this: it is okay to discriminate against the government, especially when the government itself discriminates (i.e., the gays in the military policy).  The government, on the other hand, cannot punish schools for its discrimination.

Lets hope the Supreme get this one right.