The following article about Military recruiters on college campuses was written and submitted by a very good friend of mine who goes by, The LoneWatchman.
He has proudly served in our military and gave up time from his friends and family to stand guard over the Islamofacists douchebags that are housed at Club Gitmo. I do hope that someday he writes something describing what he saw and heard while performing his duties on the American side of the Island nation of Cuba.
Last week the Supreme Court ruled that colleges had to allow military recruiters on campus or lose federal funding. This ruling didn’t seem to get all that much attention, and what it did get was usually framed as John Roberts leading the right wing of the S.C. into judicial activism. Of course that perception is warped, since not only was it a unanimous opinion, but it also failed to set up an even bigger activist position for the Court to assume. I suspect the reason why there was little coverage of the ruling is simply because it’s very hard to say it was a vast right wing conspiracy when non-conservative judges decided the same thing. What is missing here though, is that no one seems to be giving the conservatives credit for not being activists on this issue. If the conservative judges had ruled in opposition, and had the numbers to make it matter, they would have set the stage to cause raining money over Hillsdale, Liberty U, and Wheaton College.
The original colleges, law schools, that brought this case to the Supreme Court contended that it was a violation of free speech and association to force them to accept military recruiters or lose federal funding. These schools didn’t want recruiters present because they claim to object to the discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the military (a policy enacted by Bill Clinton, a liberal lawyer). Certainly we could argue about if that reason is true or not, and what else might be behind it, but that is not the issue at the moment. Let’s take a look at this idea of the First Amendment and federal funding from a few different angles.
Hillsdale college is unique because it does not accept federal funding at all, so that it does not have to accept government interference in the way in which it’s leaders operate the school. Let’s say for instance the government started to require that all funded schools must have an affirmative action program, not just an equal opportunity policy, but a program to give preference to some students based on color. This of course would be discriminatory against any student who did not fall into this group, would these law schools still have thought that a college that didn’t support the government mandate be funded? Would the type of discrimination change how the funding question was answered?
Other colleges are “religious” and cannot get much government funding if any at all simply because of their beliefs, which is discrimination. Some people would argue that it’s separation of church and state to not send tax money to religious schools. This is where the constitutional conflict comes in, if not funding a school because of their beliefs is a violation of speech and association, how can that be resolved with religious schools? How can one part of the constitutional be used to deny some schools, while other parts of it ensure, (in law school theory) a college can hold to any belief it wants and not lose funding? How do we decide which rights are trump, and which protections affect which groups at which times? This is the constitutional crisis the conservatives could have caused if they actually were activists, and had the numbers, but they didn’t either way. There could have been a battle that would have resulted in all schools getting funding without having to compromise their beliefs and yet people still would not be happy. It is really not the federal government’s job to be involved with education anyway.
To my mind the government could give out grants, scholarships, and loans, but should not be concerned with which school the student is attending. This time it seems big government has bitten the liberals in the butt, though they may get the last laugh when the Army starts stacking it’s J.A.Gs with anti-American socialists.