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Law Deans Making Noise (Again) Over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell - (

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  • Law Deans Making Noise (Again) Over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell - (

    U.S. law schools haven’t had the best luck challenging the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy — the one that bars gay people from serving in the military but also bars the military from asking about soldiers sexual orientations.

    Several years ago, a handful of schools barred military recruiters from interviewing their students on campus. In response, the U.S. government said, okay, fine, we’ll take away the money we give you. The schools sued, the case went to the Supreme Court, and the government won. The schools reluctantly continued allowing military recruiters to interview their students on campus.*

    Despite the setback, a handful of elite law schools are back at it, rattling chains on the unfairness of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Click here for the story, from the National Law Journal.

    Last week, deans from the law schools at Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and NYU signed a letter and mailed it off to the Senate and House Armed Services committees late last week urging the repeal of the policy.

    In the letter, the deans objected to the policy partly on grounds that it keeps their students — specifically, some of their “best and brightest” from serving their country. According to the NLJ:
    The letter goes on to say that discharging gay, lesbian and bisexual military personnel because of their sexual orientation is “never justified,” and that it is wrong to deny “our students access to careers, training and scholarships based on their sexual orientation.”

    President Obama put the controversial policy, passed in 1993, back on the front burner in January, when he called for its repeal during the State of the Union address. Since then, several high-ranking officials, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, have said they support repealing the policy. Click here and here for earlier LB posts on that.

    * Something we didn’t know, however: According to the NLJ story, two schools have chosen to ban military recruiters, despite the Supreme Court’s 2006 adverse ruling: Vermont Law School and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn.

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