Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

About Academic Freedom

From AP February 3, 2005:
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge has ruled that Yale Law School can block military recruiters from campus without fear of losing federal funding.

U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall ruled Monday that a federal law requiring universities to let recruiters on campus violates the school's constitutional right to free speech.
School policy requires all recruiters to sign a nondiscrimination pledge, which the Pentagon has not done in light of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning open homosexuality. Defense officials argued that federal law requires Yale to allow recruiters on campus even without signing the pledge.

With the government threatening to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, Yale faculty members sued the Department of Defense last year. Hall's decision echoes a ruling in November by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appealsin Philadelphia in a case filed by other law schools. The Pentagon has said it will take that case to the Supreme Court. In the Yale case, military officials said they were reviewing Hall's decision Wednesday and had no comment.
Immediately following the ruling, Yale's law school returned to its decades-old policy of banning military recruiters. The school temporarily halted that policy in 2002 to avoid losing federal funding.


Dr. Strangelove said...

Could someone explain fow the 1st Amendment was violated here? If I understand the situation correctly, Congress is attempting to coerce private universities into accepting the presence of government (military) representatives--for the express purpose of recruitment activities--by threatening to withhold longstanding federal funding. It's not clear to me how this law prevents anyone from speaking freely, unless barring military personnel is considered a political act of free speech in and of itself...?

The law does try to force a private institution to accept, on private property, the presence of members of an organization whose policies they disapprove of. It would seem that this is more in violation of the right of privacy--which I think is more in the 4th and 5th Amendments. Actually, come to think of it, forcing someone to accept soldiers on their property might even be a rare violation of the 3rd Amendment :-)

The Law Talking Guy said...

Dr. Strangelove is correct. The act of forbidding military recruiters is part of academic freedom, part of the freedom of a university to express anti-discrimination values through more than just words alone. That is a first amendment value. Similarly, the right of the Catholic church to hire only Catholics (for religious jobs) is a first amendment (freedom of religion) value, not overcome by civil rights laws that prohibit you and me from discriminating on religious grounds.