Wednesday, February 02, 2005

US District Court, CT: Solomon Amendment Unconstitutional 

From How Appealing comes the news that on Monday the US District Court for the District of Connecticut decided in Burt v. Rumsfeld that the Solomon Amendment, as applied to Yale Law School, is unconstitutional. Judge Janet Hall included in her decision in this case brought by faculty members of Yale Law School that the application of the Solomon Amendment violated the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights, by compelled speech and association. From the decision:
Accordingly, the Solomon Amendment is hereby declared unconstitutional as applied, and the defendant is enjoined from enforcing it against Yale University based upon Yale Law School’s Non-Discrimination Policy. The Clerk is ordered to close the case.

The decision can be found in two parts on LegalAffairs.org, here and here. In addition to the bottom line of the holding, the decision is extremely detailed and informative about the Solomon Amendment, the history of Department of Defense and Congressional activities regarding military recruitment, and the First Amendment.

Additionally, here is a message published today from the Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of Yale Law School regarding military recruitment at YLS in light of this decision. Bottom line:
I am gratified by Judge Hall's judgment, which seems to me clearly correct. I believe that her ruling brings us closer to the day when all members of our community have an equal opportunity to serve in our Nation's armed forces. This Thursday, February 3, 2005, the Spring 2005 Interviewing Program will begin. In light of the District Court's opinion and injunction which parallel the Third Circuit's ruling, I am notifying military recruiters that the Yale Law School will enforce its nondiscrimination policy during the Spring 2005 Interviewing Program without exception.

Go, Yale!


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