Yale's principles met reality recently when the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the institution
rejecting its argument that its right to academic freedom was infringed by federal law that said universities must give the military the same access as other job recruiters or forfeit federal money.
Yale, you see, doesn't like the Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy famously instituted by President Clinton
Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh said in a prepared statement he was disappointed by the ruling.
"As a member of the Yale Law School community, I am proud that we defended our right to academic freedom and spoke up for the equal opportunity of all of our students to work for our military services. Yale Law School ... has an obligation to ameliorate the impact of discriminatory hiring practices..."
However, the certainty of losing Federal funding was enough incentive for the school to reverse its decision to not allow recruiters on campus.
When military recruiters come to campus next week, Yale Law will reluctantly waive its requirement that the military sign a nondiscrimination pledge. Students and professors are preparing to protest.
"We want to make it clear the military is here under the coercion of the cut-off of federal funds," said Robert Burt, a Yale law professor and plaintiff in the suit.
Right. Of course the school could uphold its principles by not accepting Federal funds.
Or, they could just accept the court's ruling, shut up, and try to change the policy legislatively which is the way things are supposed to be done.
The opinion by Second Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler found that the Supreme Court's ruling last year upholding the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment most likely precluded all the legal arguments being raised by the Yale profs, but even if some had not been directly addressed, they were effectively trumped by that decision...
Although the Supreme Court did not specifically address the academic freedom argument, Judge Pooler found that its First Amendment ruling implicitly rejected that claim. But even if that were not the case, Pooler concluded that the professors' argument was without merit.
The judge emphasized that the Supreme Court has recognized First Amendment protection for the academic freedom of universities and their faculties in cases focused on curricular decisions and policies about student admissions and tenure, all of which relate in some fashion to the "free flow of ideas" on campus.
"The relationship between barring military recruiters and the free flow of ideas is much more attenuated," Pooler wrote. "The Solomon Amendment places no restriction on the content of teaching, the membership of teachers in organizations, the selection of students, or evaluation or retention of students."
She conceded that requiring campuses to allow anti-gay military recruiters access "may incidentally detract from the academic mission of inculcating respect for equal rights," but wrote, "this requirement undermines educational autonomy in a much less direct and more speculative way than do the policies addressed" in the prior cases.
Pooler could find no basis in the argument that the Supreme Court would extend the concept of academic freedom to the professors' policy of barring military recruiters, which the high court, in the FAIR case, "defined as conduct" rather than speech.
The professors also argued that they were seeking to engage in a boycott, a form of speech recognized by the courts as embodying political expression protected by the First Amendment. Pooler found that this argument was also clearly rejected by the high court.
"While boycotts motivated by principle certainly enjoy a degree of constitutional protection," she wrote, "the FAIR Court already has rejected the argument that the Solomon Amendment forces the plaintiffs to associate with the military." In turn, the professors, like the FAIR plaintiffs, have the right "to disassociate themselves from the recruiters by words and deeds."
Yes, academic freedom means that you have to hear voices with which you disagree. It's a lesson that some parents of students enrolled in Winston Churchill High School in Maryland have yet to learn
A protest by parents who sought to stop an Army recruiter from talking with students at a Montgomery County high school will not deter future visits by military representatives pitching a career in the armed services, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
Earlier this week, parents at Winston Churchill High expressed anger that a student had received a postcard from a recruiter who said he planned to visit the school Tuesday.
One parent wrote an e-mail to local recruiters provided to The Examiner warning that they would be met by protesters....
Pat Elder, a leader of PeaceAction Montgomery, which led Tuesday’s demonstration, said the group would continue to protest.
“It’s one thing for colleges to attempt to recruit 16- or 17-year-olds,” Elder said. “It’s another for the military to attempt to recruit 16- or 17-year-olds. The difference is the difference between life and death.”
Yeah right. It's ironic, don't you think, that such a response is occurring at a school named after the man who advocated and doggedly fought a war to defeat Nazism. A man who said "I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside."
He also said "One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened
danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the
danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will
reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything.