Monday, May 02, 2005

SCOTUS to review Solomon Amendment

The Supreme Court has decided to review a 3d Circuit Court of Appeals decision invalidating the Solomon Amendment that barred colleges that accept federal money from keeping military recruiters from their campuses.

This is a good thing, especialy since that 3d Circuit ruling was a laugher. First, it tried to equate higher ed institutions with the Boy Scouts under the heading of "expressive associations." Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. A university is not an "expressive association" akin to the Boy Scouts. Its job is to teach in an even-handed manner.

Secondly, the Solomon Amendment doesn't stifle a university's right to "free speech." See this.

Thirdly, the federal government has long used the power of the purse to regulate behaviour. Remember the law back in the 1980s that worked to coerce the States to raise their drinking ages to 21 by withholding some federal highway money? With federal money comes federal strings. I never particularly liked that, but it is the law and it is constitutional. South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987).

Besides, allowing military recruiters to have a table one or two days a year doesn't mean the schools are adopting the military's positions on things, anymore than allowing Tyson Foods recruiters doesn't mean the schools endorse the eating of chicken.

I find it a bit humourous that the very people that scream "inclusion and tolerance" are so exclusivist and intolerant of anything they disagree with. That's like a pacifist beating someone up for not being pacifist.

I wonder how many European cases JJ. Kennedy, Souter, Stevens, Ginsburg and Breyer will scour to find a case that will allow them to overturn the Solomon Amendment? As we saw with the Roper decision, American precedent to the contrary doesn't count for much with that cabal.

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