Defenders of Freedom Banned from Campus: The Third Circuit Enjoins Enforcement of the Solomon Amendment on First Amendment Grounds

May 1, 2005

Douglas H. Wood

Congress enacted the Solomon Amendment in 1994 to guarantee recruiters for the United States military equal access to the campus of a college or university that receives federal funding. Specifically, the Solomon Amendment requires schools receiving federal funds to provide military recruiters access “in a manner that is at least equal in quality and scope to the access to campuses and to students that is provided to any other employer.” Congress has recognized that on-campus military recruiting is critical to ensuring that the military has sufficient access to encourage the best and brightest to serve, especially given the heightened emphasis on national security in recent years. The Department of Defense has explained that discriminatory treatment of military recruiters “sends the message that employment in the Armed Forces is less honorable or desirable than employment with other organizations,” thereby undermining the military mission....

Defenders of Freedom Banned from Campus: The Third Circuit Enjoins Enforcement of the Solomon Amendment on First Amendment Grounds