SCOTUS Will Decide If Colleges Can Deny Military Recruiters Campus Access

By: Chad Groening

A conservative military watchdog is pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on whether universities can close their doors to military recruiters without jeopardizing federal education funds.

Justices will review a lower-court ruling that threw out a 1994 law that required law schools to give recruiters full access or lose their federal money. The appeals court said the law infringed on free-speech rights. But Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness says it is the military that is being discriminated against.

"I don’t understand why they feel that they can accept that kind of money, but then not allow military recruiters the same type of access that is allowed to other potential employers on the campus once a year," Donnelly states. "This is a matter of discrimination against the military. It is an anti-military attitude [that] has to do with the military’s sound and constitutional policy regarding homosexuals in the military."

Donnelly explains that she agrees with the Bush administration’s contention that if schools want to ban recruiters, they can simply turn down federal dollars. Still, the CMR president admits she is disturbed by the anti-military vitriol on college campuses today.

"It’s quite alarming," she says. "In Washington State, near Seattle, recruiters were pelted with water bottles and literally driven off the campus in a way that is most disturbing. [It makes] you wonder what these kids are learning in school these days."

Donnelly is hopeful the Supreme Court will follow its tradition of giving deference to the military by throwing out the lower-court ruling and giving recruiters access to students. "[It’s] a legal concept that’s been upheld time and time again," she points out. "I think the schools will be required to comply with federal policy on this matter."

The high court will not hear the case until its next term, which begins in October.

Center for Military Readiness

Join the Christian Underground