After a five-year legal battle, Yale Law School will finally admit military recruiters at job fairs beginning Monday.
It is not that the school has had a change of heart regarding the military's presence, reports "Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy. Many on the New Haven, Connecticut, campus do not want recruiters there because they feel that the military discriminates against gays and lesbians with its "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
This is the same position that other Ivy League schools, such as Columbia University, have taken. Columbia does not have a ROTC program because some student and faculty groups object to the 14-year-old Department of Defense policy.
Yale's position is that the military discriminates, though Yale Law fails to understand that its policy is discriminatory, too. Students who might be interested in joining the military, perhaps as a JAG officer, must seek out careers in the military on his or her own, without the assistance of the school.
Shouldn't students at one of the top law schools in the U.S. have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to work for the military? If no one wants to join the military, those recruiting tables will sit empty and the free market will have spoken.
But Yale Law recently decided to back away from the legal fight, though only because school leaders have realized that they do not want to forgo hefty federal grants. A federal statute, known as the Solomon Amendment, allows the feds to withhold money from schools that treat military recruiters differently than other recruiters.
Yale Law's decision opens the door to $350 million infusion. A Yale Law professor explained that the school could not justify losing money for its research programs.
Legal experts say that Yale's decision will be closely watched by the numerous other elite schools that currently shun recruiters. Other campuses may soon relent, too.
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