Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.
547 U.S. 47 (2006)

  • The US military had a policy of not allowing homosexuals to serve.
  • When military recruiters tried to recruit on college campuses, they found that many schools denied them access, claiming that their anti-homosexual policy was discriminatory.
  • In response, Congress passed the Solomon Amendment (10 U.S.C. §93), which denied Federal funding to schools that barred military recruitment on campus.
  • A number of law schools (organized under FAIR) sued for an injunction, claiming that the Solomon Amendment was an unconstitutional infringement of the schools right to free association under the 1st Amendment.
    • They argued that the Solomon Amendment was a form of compelled speech.
  • The Trial Court denied the injunction. FAIR appealed.
  • The Appellate Court reversed and granted the injunction. The military appealed.
  • The US Supreme Court reversed and denied the injunction.
    • The US Supreme Court found that the Solomon Amendment neither denies the schools the right to speak, nor requires them to say anything.
      • So the schools were free to publicly speak out against the military’s policy, or even organize protests. They just couldn’t deny access.
    • The Court found that the Solomon Amendment does not require endorsement of the recruiters, and just requiring their inclusion does not constitute compelled speech in violation of the 1st Amendment.