Rumsfield vs. FAIR: Supreme Court hears military recruiter case

Most Supreme Court justices back campus recruiting (Reuters)

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A majority of Supreme Court justices expressed support on Tuesday for the U.S. government’s position that universities that get federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus, even if the schools oppose the Pentagon’s policy on gays and lesbians.

The justices appeared likely to uphold a federal law dating back to 1994 that allows the government to withhold money from universities that deny military recruiters the same access to campuses given to other employers.

Congress adopted the law after some universities sought to restrict military recruiting to protest the Pentagon’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” policy that bars openly gay individuals from serving in the armed forces.

A coalition of law schools challenged the law and said the Pentagon’s policy violated their own long-standing policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

New Chief Justice John Roberts was among the court members who seemed supportive of the government’s position during the questioning of E. Joshua Rosenkranz, a New York attorney who argued for the law schools.