The US Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the Solomon Amendment -- which withholds federal monies from universities which prohibit military recruiters on campus -- is constitutional, meaning the plaintiffs' claim that their free speech rights were "violated" was, well, "nice try," let's put it that way.
Law schools had become the latest battleground over the "don't ask, don't tell" policy allowing gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves. Many universities forbid the participation of recruiters from public agencies and private companies that have discriminatory policies.
[Chief Justice John] Roberts, writing his third decision since joining the court, said there are other less drastic options to protest the policy. "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," he wrote.
The federal law, known as the Solomon Amendment after its first congressional sponsor, mandates that universities give the military the same access as other recruiters or forfeit federal money.
I had thought this would be a slam dunk against the plaintiffs from the get-go. It seemed ludicrous on the face of it that they wanted the government's money, but then at the same time didn't want any strings attached whatsoever. Oops.
UPDATE: The SCOTUS decision seems to indicate that even if universities do not receive federal funding, they'd still have to allow recruiters on campus. Indeed, in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, the Court said
The Constitution grants Congress the power to "provide for the common Defence," "[t]o raise and support Armies," and "[t]o provide and maintain a Navy." Congress' power in this area "is broad and sweeping," and there is no dispute in this case that it includes the authority to require campus access for military recruiters. . . .
This case does not require us to determine when a condition placed on university funding goes beyond the "reasonable" choice offered in Grove City and becomes an unconstitutional condition. It is clear that a funding condition cannot be unconstitutional if it could be constitutionally imposed directly. Because the First Amendment would not prevent Congress from directly imposing the Solomon Amendment's access requirement, the statute does not place an unconstitutional condition on the receipt of federal funds.
I would assume this has to apply only to public universities. I cannot see how the federal gov. (especially one that receives no federal monies) could force a private campus to allow military recruiters there.