03/09/06 — A no-brainer: Colleges must allow service recruiters on campus

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A no-brainer: Colleges must allow service recruiters on campus

Perhaps the Supreme Court needs a file labeled “N.B.’s” It would be for “No-Brainers.”

That's where the recent issue concerning efforts to ban military recruiters from law school campuses should have been filed. As in “waste basket.”

Some law schools wanted to kick military recruiters off their premises because they didn’t approve of the Pentagon's “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals.

The U.S. Congress has taken the position that institutions refusing to allow military recruiters on campus should be denied federal funds.

The U.S. Supreme Court backed that position. Its unanimous decision was that the institutions could express their disapproval of the military and its policies but must extend to armed service recruiters the same opportunities accorded those from civilian fields.

Faculty members claimed their First Amendment rights to free speech and association were being violated because they were “forced to associate” with military recruiters.

The Supreme Court said the faculties and students were free to “voice their disapproval of the military’s message,” but the presence of men and women in uniform couldn’t be denied.

As is so often in such cases, the protesters are so focused on their own “rights” they were blind to the rights of those with whom they disagree.

The specter of losing federal funds will do wonders in correcting their vision.

Published in Editorials on March 9, 2006 10:54 AM