the rainy season’s crack
translated by D. Lanoue
This Harvard Law School graduate (HLS ’76) would like to join Howard Bashman’s reminder to my
alma mater that free speech often comes at a cost — as does sticking to one’s principles. Howard
responds to news that HLS plans to start barring military recruiters, in the wake of the 3rd Circuit’s
decision yesterday overturning the Solomon Amendment.
Rather than losing federal funding, Harvard Law School has been allowing military recruiters on campus,
despite the anti-gay policies of the military. As Howard points out, in words worth quoting in full:
“Harvard Law School at all times (including now) has had the right to ban
military recruiters from campus notwithstanding the existence of the Solomon Amendment
– the university simply had to pay the price in loss of federal funding. Dean Kagan’s statement
suggests that now that the price to be paid will soon be zero dollars, Harvard Law School can
afford to exercise its right of association in the manner it prefers. On this very point, to the extent
that the Solomon Amendment causes a law school to “speak” in any manner, it seems to me
that a law school is forced to reveal that it finds the continuation of federal funding to have
a greater value than the evenhanded application of the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
This ‘speech’ — which reveals that the exercise of rights sometimes comes at great cost; even
at a cost that may be too great to bear — would seem to teach law students a valuable lesson
about how the real world often operates.” (emphasis added)
If Harvard Law School can’t afford to give up federal dollars in order to take a principled stand, who can?