Rumsfeld v. FAIR Oral Argument
Dec 6, 2005
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Following some court business including the release of an opinion by Justice Thomas and admissions to the Supreme Court Bar, attorneys made oral arguments in the case of Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional
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Following some court business including the release of an opinion by Justice Thomas and admissions to the Supreme Court Bar, attorneys made oral arguments in the case of Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights. The case revolved around the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment, a federal law that requires universities to allow military recruitment on campus or lose federal funds. Solicitor General Paul Clement argued for the Department of Defense. Joshua Rosenkranz argued for the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights.
A New Jersey federal court rejected FAIR’s argument that the Solomon Amendment violated the First Amendment. FAIR contended that universities should not have to allow military recruitment on campus because of the exclusion of homosexuals from the military violated their non-discrimination policies. On appeal, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and ruled that the law violated the First Amendment by conditioning federal funds on allowing military recruiters on campus.
Congress originally passed the Solomon Amendment in 1994. The Department of Defense interpreted the amendment as merely requiring schools to give recruiters access to the campus, but not requiring schools to affirmatively assist the recruiters. After September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) indicated that it interpreted the amendment to require schools to treat military recruiters in the same way that they treat all other employment recruiters. In 2004, Congress amended the Solomon Amendment to reflect the DoD policy.
This program contained audio released by the court immediately after the arguments were presented with still images of participants as they spoke.