Harvard versus the Pentagon
September 21, 2005
The Harvard Crimson reports that the university is going to buckle to the Pentagon's demand that its law school actively cooperate with military recruiters:
(Dean Elena) KaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s announcement marks a reversal of her November 2004 decision to bar Pentagon recruiters from using the law schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Office of Career Services. For most of the last 26 years, the office has only provided its resources to recruiters who promise not to discriminate against gay and lesbian employees and job applicants. The PentagonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ask, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tellÃ¢â‚¬Â policy prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
In an e-mail to students and faculty this evening, Kagan wrote that the Pentagon had notified the University this summer that it would withhold most federal grants to Harvard unless the Law School altered its policy to allow military recruiters access to the resources of the career services office. Harvard receives more than $400 million per year in federal grants. [LINK]While Harvard clearly balked at the prospect of losing 15 percent of its total budget, the battle over the Solomon Amendment is hardly over. The 1994 congressional statute, which allows the DoD to block federal funds to universities that deny military recruiters "equal access" to campuses, is being challenged in the courts as an abridgement of a university's free speech rights -- an interpretation that was upheld by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that it "requires law schools to express a message that is incompatible with their educational objectives."