Department of Defense denies federal funding to schools that ban military recruiting

Thursday, June 2, 2005

The U.S. Defense Department has denied federal funding to two law schools because they do not allow military recruiters on campus. Now the U.S. House of Representatives is putting forward a new law that would require the Secretary of Defense to compile a list of colleges and universities that don't allow the military to recruit on campus.

Vermont Law School has already been denied federal funding.

William Mitchell College of Law and Vermont Law School (not affiliated with the University of Vermont) have already been barred from federal funding for violating the Solomon amendment, a 10-year old law that "the armed forces cannot be denied access to students". Legislators recently passed a measure that would require the Secretary of Defense to provide a list of schools whose cooperation it is unsatisfied with.

Representative Cliff Sterns (R-FL) is pushing through the House an amendment that would toughen the Solomon amendment, a law which states "Any college that prohibits the U.S. military from establishing or operating an ROTC unit on campus or denies military recruiters access to students is ineligible for federal funding." Sterns' amendment is part of the Defense Department Authorization Act.

Sterns claims that Yale University is discriminating against military recruiters. Yale denies this. Rich Jacobs, a representative of Yale, in a prepared statement, said "Yale has sought to comply fully with the Solomon amendment as it applies to ROTC and Yale university." Yale gives ROTC a room on campus, but does not help arrange interviews. According to Yale's website, "The defense department's 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy, which prevents openly [public] gays, lesbians, and bisexuals from serving in the military, violates the school's non-discrimination policy." The Defense Department has declined to sign the school's non-discriminatory policy.

In the fall the U.S. Supreme Court is lined up to hear a case involving several colleges and regarding military recruitment at universities.