With the passage of Solomon II, Congress coerces law schools to violate fundamental principles of equality and democracy. Under Solomon II, law schools are obliged either to accommodate the military and its discriminatory practices, or lose Department of Education funds that provide financial aid to needy and deserving students.
Congress’ passage of the Solomon Amendment was part of a broader backlash against the majority of U.S. colleges and universities that amended their nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation during the early 1990’s. Law schools, students and faculty were in the forefront of these efforts. In 1990 the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) House of Representatives voted unanimously to amend Bylaw 6-4, adding sexual orientation to the list of protected categories under its nondiscrimination provisions. Subsequently, the AALS Executive Committee enacted Regulation 6.19, which mandated that law schools receive from employers written assurances of nondiscrimination based upon the projected categories, including sexual orientation. Like other discriminatory employers, the military was barred from recruiting on most law school campuses because of its continued discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender.
A new section of the Society of American Law Teachers’ (SALT) web site is the result of a collaboration between SALT, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and U.C. Santa Barbara’s Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM). The resources and links provided here are meant to assist law schools in ameliorating the efforts of Solomon and in broadening the visibility of lesbian / gay / bisexual / transgender issues on law school campuses. It builds upon the prior work of SALT’s Solomon Committee.