Should Law Schools Bar Student Organizations from Inviting the Military to Campus for Recruitment Purposes?

11 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2007

See all articles by Joan E. Schaffner

Joan E. Schaffner

George Washington University - Law School


The military's discrimination against gays combined with the Solomon Amendment that forces schools to allow equal access to military recruiters in violation of their non-discrimination policies, upheld by the Supreme Court under constitutional challenge in FAIR v. Rumsfeld, 126 S.Ct. 1297 (2006), has created many difficulties for law schools. The law schools are torn between protecting their gay students from discrimination and enforcing their non-discrimination policy and violating the Solomon Amendment and thus risking the loss of substantial federal funding. In September 2006, the George Washington Law School was presented with a question of first impression. To what extent should student organizations be bound by the regulations that govern the GW placement office/Career Development Office regarding military recruitment? In other words, should/must the school allow student organizations to invite the military to employment related functions? This article discusses the legal and policy implications of this question after FAIR v. Rumsfeld. This paper was prepared for the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Section's panel entitled: "Accepting the Court's Invitation" at the American Association of Law School's Annual Conference, Washington D.C., January 3, 2007.

Keywords: Military recruitment; FAIR v. Rumsfeld, Solomon Amendment, First Amendment

JEL Classification: I29, J71, K19

Suggested Citation

Schaffner, Joan E., Should Law Schools Bar Student Organizations from Inviting the Military to Campus for Recruitment Purposes?. Journal of Legal Education, Forthcoming; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 296; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 296. Available at SSRN:

Joan E. Schaffner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-7040 (Phone)

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