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Government Enforces Solomon Amendment:

Inside Higher Ed reports that New York Law School has been "placed on a list of higher education institutions that are iineligible for contracts and grants by reason of a determination by the Secretary of Defense that the institution prohibits or in effect prevents military recruiter access to the campus, students on campus or student directory information.'" According to the story, a Pentagon spokeswoman has also said that "two other law schools — Vermont Law School and William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minn. — were also in violation of the Solomon amendment and faced the loss of federal funds." Yale Law School has also excluded military recruiters from campus but is protected by a court order.

HT: Paul Caron (twice in one day!).

Update: On further reflection, I believe each of these three law schools are stand alone law schools unattached to larger universities (unless I'm mistaken). As a result, the Government's action is narrowly focused on law schools and does not raise the issue of withholding funding for an entire university as a result of the law school's decisions. The article suggests that perhaps they were being picked-on because they were "little guys," but this may explain the pattern of those schools affected. (HT to Our Commenters for first raising this question).

Update:

Doug Lederman, the author of the Insider Higher Ed piece elaborates on his article and some of our Comments on our Comment Board here.

Taimyoboi:
Do law schools receive a substantial amount of gov't funding to begin with?

I was always under the impression that law schools, like business and med schools, were cash cows for the University as a whole.

If that is the case, then will withholding contracts and grants even pressure compliance?
9.16.2005 6:39pm
Ugh (mail):
And is it just the law school or the University as a whole?
9.16.2005 6:41pm
Michael L (mail):
I believe the Solomon Amendment applies to funding for the entire university, not just the law school.
9.16.2005 6:43pm
Stephen M (Ethesis):
The amendment gets its teeth by applying to the university as a whole. Otherwise it would just be ignored.
9.16.2005 6:50pm
Penta:
If it does apply to the entire university, then this could get very interesting.

The problem is that while the law school might be a cash cow for a university, lots of other programs depend on federal funds.

Some things which I've never heard made clear:

1. Does this apply to financial aid?

2. How does it interact with, say, the land-grant ststus of a school?
9.16.2005 6:50pm
Ugh (mail):
I thought it applied to the University as a whole (and I think financial aid as well).

Didn't Eugene predict a 9-0 reversal in the Yale case?
9.16.2005 6:52pm
Russell Wardlow (mail) (www):
The SA revokes 1) all federal funding for law schools, and 2) all DOD funding for the parent university.

The revocation of federal funds from the law school would, in the case of just about every public law school, be pretty catastrophic. I'm not sure private schools would be much better off. The lost DOD funding to the parent university makes the SA a very big stick.

In the UC system, for instance, if Boalt, Hastings, UCLA or Davis law schools are found to not comply, the offending law school would get no federal money at all, and the entire UC system would lose all the research funding provided by the DOD. I don't know what the numbers are, but that's a huge chunk o' change.
9.16.2005 6:57pm
Nobody (mail):
I don't think New York Law School is affiliated with a university. I think it's a stand-alone law school. I could be wrong, though.
9.16.2005 7:02pm
Paul McKaskle (mail):
All three of the law schools mentioned in the post are stand alone law schools, hence there is no attached university to be affected. A number of law schools who are part of a university have wanted to defy the Solomon amendment restrictions, but have not been allowed to by their "parent" university. Other parts of many private universities are comparatively more dependent on government funding than their law schools. Many public universities are also answerable to legislatures, which may inhibit unfettered decisions in this area.
9.16.2005 7:23pm
Shelby (mail):

In the UC system, for instance, if Boalt, Hastings, UCLA or Davis law schools are found to not comply, the offending law school would get no federal money at all, and the entire UC system would lose all the research funding provided by the DOD.


Hastings is in an unusual situation -- it's not affiliated with any of the university campuses, and in effect reports directly to the Regents of the entire system. Is it clear that funds would be withheld from the entire system, rather than the campus (e.g. Berkeley, in the case of Boalt)? If so, there's no way UC would take the loss of federal funds.

But as I recall the decision re allowing federal recruiters on is a campus-by-campus (school-by-school?) decision. Does the SA reach beyond the entity that makes the decision, to target all affiliated entities?
9.16.2005 8:34pm
Doug Lederman (mail) (www):
Hello -- I'm the author of the Inside Higher Ed piece in question. First, thanks to Todd and Volokh.com for the link, and to the commenters for their interest in the piece.

Second, I thought I'd clarify a couple things: (1) Solomon does apply to an entire institution even if only part of it is deemed to have violated the law; (2) as I noted in the piece, all three of the institutions singled out are freestanding law schools; (3) also as noted, federal student aid is NOT affected by the law -- only contracts and research grants and some other funds; and (4) the two of the three independent law schools at which I reached someone both said that they did not have any federal money at stake as a result.

Lastly, the question I was trying to raise in the piece (and perhaps I did so inelegantly) is whether the Pentagon punished these three institutions because it wanted to make its point and uphold its principle, but has not, as yet, taken action against Harvard's law school precisely because the impact there would be so much more significant (because Harvard University takes in so much federal money that would be subject to Solomon). The other possibility -- and unfortunately I was unable to reach anyone at Harvard, despite numerous attempts, to answer this -- is that in one way or another, military recruiters are getting access to law students at Harvard, despite the law school's stated policy. If anyone can shed light on that, I would greatly appreciate it.
9.16.2005 8:48pm
Joshua:
Apparently Harvard Law School is now denying access to military recruiters in reliance on an opinion of the 3rd Circuit. (No, Massachusetts is not located in the 3rd Circuit.)
9.16.2005 10:09pm
Leon (mail):
I believe that the William Mitchell School of Law is now owned/part of the University of St. Thomas. I don't read my alumni newsletter so I'm not sure. St. Thomas Class of '69
9.17.2005 6:58pm
Igglephan:
I'd like to see the Court strike down the Solomon Amendment, but a side issue to the Freedom of Association argument is that, as Doug Lederman hints, it can create some major bureaucratic infighting. HHS, the CDC, NIH, etc. all give out grants based on policy and procedures they establish. The DOD's ability to nix such grants is problematic, and especially for such a silly reason as the preservation of institutional bigotry. That, and the DOD certainly benefits from a lot of research performed by top unis. Only applying it to stand-alone schools is a good, rare example of prudence and, indeed, self-interest.
9.17.2005 9:26pm
Krahling (mail):
If I remember correctly, the grants are nixed because recruiters are not allowed on campus - not to preserve "institutional bigotry".
9.18.2005 2:52pm
Krahling (mail):
If I remember correctly, the grants are nixed because recruiters are not allowed on campus - not to preserve "institutional bigotry".
9.18.2005 2:52pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
If the law schools win at the Supreme Court. I hope Congress cuts all kinds of funding to colleges. They don't have to say so, but I would love to hear one of them say, "Since we can't go on many campuses, we need the money to recruit elsewhere." I would then love to see a worthless liberal judge like Reinhardt "order" Congress not to cut funding.
9.19.2005 2:47am
Brian G (mail) (www):
How Orwellian of Harvard:

On the basis of yesterday's decision by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals enjoining the enforcement of the Solomon Amendment, Harvard Law School will return to its prior policy on employers' use of our Office of Career Services (OCS). This return to our prior policy will allow OCS to enforce the Law School's policy of nondiscrimination without exception, including to the military services. I am gratified by this result, and I look forward to the time when all law students will have the opportunity to pursue any legal career they desire.


Well, they could until you shut the door on them. I pray the law schools get their butts kicked on this. I know my law school is just dying to kick out the military. Every time they come to our school, the school adds in 28-point font at the bottom that the military does not comply with their discrimination policy. (What nerve!) Then, we get an e-mail that says "Diversity scholarship: Available to all minorities and women regardless of ethnicity." (In other words, white men need not apply. Yet, they never seem to mention their discrimination policy when white men are shut out of opportunities.
9.19.2005 2:52am
Rebecca Oris Davidson (mail) (www):

If I remember correctly, the grants are nixed because recruiters are not allowed on campus - not to preserve "institutional bigotry".



The "institutional bigotry" that is being preserved is the military's policy on homosexuals. Military recruiters are not allowed on campuses because the military engages in discrimination of which the law schools do not approve.
9.19.2005 8:15am
TC (mail):


The "institutional bigotry" that is being preserved is the military's policy on homosexuals. Military recruiters are not allowed on campuses because the military engages in discrimination of which the law schools do not approve.


If you don't like it, write your Congressman. The military is simply following a Congressionally-enacted law -- a bill that Clinton signed.

Or would you rather the military not follow the law?
9.19.2005 11:10am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
But of course, as one poster suggested, the law schools engage in a lot more bigotry than the military does. But their bigotry is politically correct, so, apparently, it is ok.

What has always bothered me about the law schools' position here is that it is primarily the faculties' Freedom of Association that is at issue here, and not that of the students. Yet, the faculty can easily avoid the recruiters. Indeed, they would probably have to go out of their way to even see them.

It is almost never a vote of the students that results in these bans, but rather votes of the faculty, or an administration responding to the sentiment of the faculty.

So, to some extent, the faculty are preventing any students who want to freely associate with the military (in a time of war) from doing so.

To me, this has always been the height of hypocracy, esp. given that these faculty invariably back discrimination IN FAVOR of gays, even if such would not be acceptable to the students.
9.19.2005 1:35pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
The colleges have just as much right to exclude the military over their "don't ask, don't tell" policy as they do if they disgreed over over the color of their dress uniforms.

Colleges will slowly become a few hundred satellites of the University of Moscow circa 1979 if they are entitled to government funding without any of the responsibility.
9.20.2005 3:04am