Monday, December 05, 2005

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments Tuesday in Military Recruiting Case; Armed Forces Should Play By Same Rules, Says SLDN

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow in FAIR v. Rumsfeld, a case challenging the federal Solomon Amendment. The Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR) coalition of law schools is challenging the constitutionality of the amendment, passed in 1996, which requires universities to grant military recruiters full access to students despite university non-discrimination policies which bar recruiters who discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Congress has threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding to schools refusing to comply. In November 2004, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of FAIR.
"Our armed forces should recruit among the best and brightest for service to our country," said Sharra E. Greer, director of law and policy for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). "The best and brightest, however, include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, too. Law schools are simply asking the military to adhere to the same rule as every potential employer recruiting on campus: no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Military recruiters should not receive a special exception to university non-discrimination policies. Our country, and our students, would be better served by a welcoming policy in our armed forces."
A recent news report noted that three law schools –- New York Law School, Vermont Law School, and William Mitchell College of Law -- have already been targeted under Solomon. SLDN has filed an amicus brief in the case, supporting the law schools’ right to enforce non- discrimination policies and ensure equal employment opportunities for LGBT students.
For more information on the Solomon Amendment, visit
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and related forms of intolerance. For more information, visit


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