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Posted on Mar 13, 2006 Print this Article


The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision March 6 upholding the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment. That law, enacted in 1994 and reaffirmed by Congress in the aftermath of 9/11, denies federal funds to colleges and universities that deny equal access to their campuses for military recruiters.

CMR applauds this commonsense ruling, which properly saw this as an issue of selective discrimination against military recruiters, not a matter of free speech. Colleges are free to deny access to military recruiters, but they cannot do so while simultaneously accepting federal money.

This is a great victory for those of us who support the all-volunteer force, and a reality check for activists who think they can impose harmful ideologies on the military by means of intimidation and deliberate discrimination.

The unanimous opinion in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, reaffirmed the long-standing principle of “deference” to the Congress in national defense policy matters, which was stated most clearly in Rostker v. Goldberg. That 1981 landmark decision upheld the constitutionality of male-only Selective Service registration, recognizing that “judicial deference…is at its apogee”when Congress legislates under its constitutional authority to raise and support armies.

The Supreme Court has issued an unequivocal opinion, which comes to the right decision for the right reasons. It is a welcome departure from some federal court rulings, which in the past have substituted a few justices’ opinions for those written into law by elected representatives of the people.

The Center for Military Readiness supported efforts by the late Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY) to write into law this simple condition on the privilege of receiving federal funds. Rep. Solomon was a guest speaker at a Capitol Hill Conference on the Culture of the Military, which CMR hosted in October 1998.

CMR also worked with members of Congress in writing the 1993 law that excludes homosexuals from the military, which was passed with overwhelming, veto-proof margins in both Houses of Congress. CMR opposes “don’t ask, don’t tell,”a set of enforcement regulations set forth by the Clinton Administration, which are inconsistent with the law that Congress actually passed.

Differences between the 1993 law and Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy are explained in this article on our website:

This ruling is well reasoned and solid, but the debate is far from over. It is very likely that campus agitators will continue to protest against military recruiters, and some members of Congress want to repeal the 1993 law. Several cases challenging the 1993 law banning homosexuals from the military, filed in the aftermath of the Lawrence v. Texasdecision, are working their way through the federal courts.

CMR is pleased to have contributed to this great victory. We will continue taking the lead on this issue, even though well-funded advocates are determined to repeal the law, by legislation or court ruling. The agenda of these advocates should not be imposed on the courageous men and women who volunteer to serve our country in uniform.

Posted on Mar 13, 2006 Print this Article