nebraskalawprof at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 14 06:44:51 PST 2005
Our sometime list colleague, Mike Paulsen, recently offered some interesting views about Minnesota's position on the Solomon Amendment. Here are some money excerpts:
The U Law School faculty voted overwhelmingly in March, reportedly with only one dissent, to join FAIR. Bryan Freeman, a third-year law student who has worked as an intern for the Army's Judge Advocate General Corps, objects. "The vote declared a political position for the Law School as a whole," he says. "But there was no meaningful student discussion. This isn't how contentious issues should be debated at a university."
Prof. Michael Paulsen, who says he was the one who voted against the resolution, agrees. "I find the Law School's policy to be deeply disrespectful of students who valiantly wish to serve their country in a military career," he said. "It is deeply disrespectful of the military itself. The Law School's policy is intolerant of dissent, and disrespectful of First Amendment values."
Paulsen said he disagrees with the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But he believes the Congress and the military officials who crafted the policy are the proper authorities to govern military affairs. "And if Mike Paulsen disagrees, so much the worse for him," he said
Paulsen says the faculty wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They voted to join FAIR but not to join its suit, presumably, Paulsen says, out of fear of losing federal dollars. He calls the faculty's position "deeply shallow." It adopted a cowardly statement of political correctness, he adds, and balked at the idea of accepting any consequences. "The faculty said, 'We have our absolute principles. But they can be bought.' "
Paulsen says some law professors who oppose military recruitment on campus may be motivated by principled opposition to "don't ask, don't tell." But a number of others, he says, "simply have contempt for the military."
As the bloggers say, read the article in full.
Welpton Professor of Law
University of Nebraska College of Law
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
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