In a slam-dunk rebuke to the nation's law schools, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld the constitutionality of a federal law that bars the flow of federal funds to institutions that fail to give military recruiters access to their campuses.
The eight justices -- not including Samuel A. Alito Jr., who joined the court after the oral argument in this case took place in December -- agreed that the so-called Solomon Amendment does not restrict educational institutions' rights to freedom of speech or association, as a coalition of law schools had argued.
"A military recruiter's mere presence on campus does not violate a law school's right to associate, regardless of how repugnant the law school considers the recruiter's message," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in his opinion for the court.
The Supreme Court's ruling overturns a November 2004 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and sends the case back to that court to reconsider.
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