Law schools are abuzz with yesterday's appellate court decision finding the Solomon Amendment unconstitutional. This is the law that denies federal funding to schools who prevent the military from recruiting on-campus. Why would law schools want to refuse? Because of the bias of the military preventing gays from serving. Many law schools have policies not to provide recruiting privileges (access to qualified law students is quite an asset to many organizations – note the phalanx that regularly converges on Harvard, and the insanely high salaries and expensive lunches they use to ply these sought-after candidates to come work for them) to organizations that discriminate. But they have been hamstrung in their attempts to apply the same standard to the military because of the law's blackmail, requiring them to either give the military full access to its students or risk losing substantial government funding.
The majority found this policy to be a matter of compelled speech, impermissible under the First Amendment. While scholars may debate the legal analysis underlying the decision, if there is a legitimate criticism of it, it was not made by the dissenting judge Ruggero J. Aldisert, who wrote (via the NY Times):
"What disturbs me personally and as a judge is that the law schools seem to approach this question as an academic exercise, a question on a constitutional law examination or a moot court topic, with no thought of the effect of their action on the supply of military lawyers and military judges."
On the contrary – it is the military who is unconcerned about the supply, drumming out legions of qualified, willing personnel simply because they are gay. Standing up to this policy may be the only way to compel a more reasonable one, one that puts the nation's true interest – being defended by the best people we have – ahead of hatemongering.