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Author Topic: Harvard Law to Bar Military Recruiters  (Read 714 times)
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« on: December 01, 2004, 05:14:28 PM »

I thought this was an interesting development.  When I was at law school at Boston College, this was really controversial.  People were adament on both sides of the issue.  In the end, faced with a potential loss of federal funding, the school decided to allow the military to come on campus during the recruiting period to entice law students to sign up for and interview for JAG positions.  Now that the Solomon Amendment has been struck down and Harvard has reinstituted its ban, I'll be interested to see if other colleges, universities and law schools do likewise.

Tue Nov 30, 9:29 PM ET   U.S. National - AP
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard Law School will return to a policy that keeps the military from recruiting on campus in the wake of a federal court decision allowing colleges and universities to bar recruiters without fear of losing federal money.

Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan said the decision, effective Tuesday, will allow the school to enforce its nondiscrimination policy without exception, "including to the military services."

Harvard had forbidden any recruiter from campus — military or otherwise — that couldn't sign off on the school's nondiscrimination policy. Harvard, like other schools, said the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was discriminatory, because it forbids overt gays and lesbians from serving in the armed forces.

In 2002, the Pentagon (news - web sites) told Harvard and other schools that the government would begin enforcing a law, called the Solomon Amendment, which permits the Defense Department to deny funds to colleges and universities that restrict military recruiting or ROTC on campus.

Harvard and other schools backed off their bans and allowed military recruiters on campus. A coalition of about two dozen law schools sued the government in 2003.

On Monday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) struck down the Solomon Amendment, saying it infringed on the free speech rights of law schools. The 2-1 vote overturned an earlier decision from a judge that the lawsuit was unlikely to succeed. Harvard was not a party to the suit.

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2004, 05:27:01 PM »

It's an interesting issue for sure.  Personally I think it's the right of the school to not allow recruiters if they want, but that's just me.

I honestly wonder what sort of impact the recruiters could have though.  When I picture the student body at a prestigious law school it seems like most of those people would be intelligent people who are extremely motivated in what they want to do.

Unless the recruiters were outright lying to them (actually a distict possibility), I find it hard to imagine they would actually be recruiting many of the students.


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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 05:46:06 PM »

The students at a prestigious law school may fit that bill, but not necessarily students at say, the local community college. Harvard has just basically opened a route here that can be utilized by any other school who wants to get the recruiters off campus.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2004, 07:50:43 PM »

A local community college, not being a private organization, may be less free than Harvard to bar government officials such as recruiters from acting on campus.

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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2004, 08:09:24 PM »

I think the jist of the story is here that as long as you took federal money you had to do things the federal way. If you didn't want federal money you could things any way you choose. I don't see any problem with that.
It seem the court of appeals has said tho,that you can take federal money without having to follow their guidelines.That some of their guidelines are unconstitutional.
I'm sure the Pentagon will take it to the US Supreme court in due time.

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