Monday, March 06, 2006

SCOTUS to law schools: What part of free in ‘free speech’ do you not understand?
Justices uphold military recruiting on campuses

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that universities that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, even if they oppose the Pentagon's policy barring people who are openly homosexual from serving.

Justices strongly rejected law schools' challenge that they should have First Amendment protection in a dispute over the government's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay personnel.

Writing his first major opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the campus visits were a vital recruiting tool.

"Accommodating the military's message does not affect the law schools' speech, because the schools are not speaking when they host interviews and recruiting receptions," Roberts wrote.

He added, "Nothing about recruiting suggest the law schools agree with any speech by recruiters, and nothing in (federal law) restricts what the law schools may say about the military's policies."…

"Students and faculty are free to associate to voice their approval of the military's message," Roberts wrote. "The Solomon Amendment therefore does not violate a law school's First Amendment rights. A military recruiter's mere presence on campus does not violate a law school's right to associate, regardless of how repugnant the law school considers the recruiter's message."...

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