Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rumsfeld v. FAIR

Oral arguments for Rusmfeld v. FAIR today in the Supreme Court. CSPAN has posted audio. The case is kind of personal to me because my law school has banned military recruiters from interviewing in the law school.

The case centers around the Soloman Amendment, which says that any college that receives funds from the federal government must allow military recruiters on the campus under the same conditions that the college would let any employer onto the campus. My law school (and many others) have objected to allowing the military into the school because of the school's policy that it will only allow employers to interview in the school if they don't have any discriminatory hiring practices. The military, as we all know, does not hire gays. So for the past few years (I really don't know how long the policy has been in effect, but they've had it since I've been here) military recruiters who want to interview law students have conducted those interviews in the building next door. Well, this isn't good enough under the Amendment, which states that the recruiters must have the same access given to other employers. Because other employers are permitted to conduct interviews in the law school proper, the federal government argues, the Soloman mandates that military recruiters be allowed to do the same.

The plot thickens, though, because if a college does not allow recruiters the same access, the government can withhold funds from the entire school. The situation at my midwestern college is that our medical school get MASSIVE amounts of federal funding, and if the law school doesn't shape up, the government is threatening to pull all funding for the university.

So those are the stakes. Stay tuned for my personal opinion on the situation. Feel free to offer yours at any time.


Blogger scarlet panda said...

I'm not yet offering an opinion on the central issue. I'm a big fan of homosexuals, though, so I think it's pretty clear where I will come down.

However, I will say this: it seems stupid for the law school to risk huge amounts of federal funding for the university so that it can stand up for its principled position of sending discriminators 100 yards away to interview students.

Plus, it's not like they require all employers who come to campus to have explicit nondiscrimination policies covering sexual orientation, and many do not.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

Though the law school does not require employers to have explicit non-discrimination policies, they would certainly not allow a private employer with an explicitly discriminatory policy to interview on campus. The military is quite vocal about its distaste for gays in its ranks. I don't think there is an analagous private employer out there.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Squishy Burrito said...

sounds like another reason for doctors and lawyers to butt heads.

10:00 AM  

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