Cooperate With U.S. Military
By AP from the NTimes
on the Web, September 21, 2005
BOSTON -- Reversing a decision
made last year, Harvard Law School will fully cooperate with Pentagon recruiters
this fall as it awaits a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of a
law requiring schools to open their doors to the military.
The dispute concerns a decade-old law called the Solomon Amendment that requires
campuses to offer full recruiting access to the Pentagon or risk losing federal
grants. Before it was enforced, numerous law schools denied the military
formal recruiting access because they said the government's ''don't ask don't
tell'' policy on gays in the military violates the schools' nondiscrimination
guidelines for recruiters.
Last year, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals sided with law schools who had
sued to overturn the law on free speech grounds.
After that decision, most schools said they would continue to abide by the law
pending a final ruling from the Supreme Court, which will hear the case in
December. Harvard, however, reverted to its old policy and did not offer
formal recruiting cooperation last spring.
But in an e-mail sent to students late Tuesday, Dean Elena Kagan said the
Pentagon had told Harvard it would enforce the law despite the 3rd Circuit
ruling, potentially costing the university -- and especially its
research-intensive medical and public health schools -- hundreds of millions of
dollars. Overall, about 15 percent of the university's budget comes from
A group of Harvard faculty planned to file a brief Wednesday to the Supreme
Court urging that the law be overturned, as did a separate consortium of law
Last week, three law schools, including New York Law School, were listed in the
federal register as ineligible for federal funds for denying full cooperation to
military recruiters, according to Kent Greenfield, a Boston College law
professor active in the case opposing the law. But all three were
''stand-alone'' law schools that were not putting other parts of their
universities at risk of losing federal money.
Yale Law School also has reinstated its policy denying formal access to military
recruiters, but it is protected by a separate injunction from a federal judge
that prevents the Pentagon from enforcing the policy there.
HLS Lambda, a group representing gay students at Harvard, posted a statement on
its Web site saying the group wished the university had more actively opposed
the law, but applauded Kagan for barring recruiters last November.
The group said the Pentagon's policy on gays and the law threatening to deny
universities funding ''serve neither its interests nor the country's as a