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Top Legal Minds Preview Landmark Supreme Court Challenge

Boston College Law School recently presented a daylong conference analyzing and previewing the landmark Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of the controversial Solomon Amendment, which affects universities and students across the country. The conference – titled RUMSFELD v. FAIR: Exploring the Solomon Amendment Challenge – was held on Friday, November 11, 2005. Streaming video from the event is available now.

View the Keynote Speech video with Joshua Rosenkranz (RealPlayer plugin required)

View the Moot Court video (RealPlayer plugin required)

The event featured leading legal minds from across the country, including Joshua Rosenkranz, who will argue the case at the Supreme Court on behalf of FAIR, a coalition of law schools and professors opposed to the Solomon Amendment. Joined by leading legal minds from Georgetown’s Mark Tushnet and Harvard’s Bruce Hay to conservative leader and former Assistant U.S. Air Force Secretary Joseph Zengerle, the event provided an ideal forum for hashing out the conflicts presented by the case, including a moot court session presided over by the Hon. Herbert Wilkins, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

The Boston College Law School Coalition for Equality, a named plaintiff in the lawsuit, organized the event, in co-sponsorship with Boston College Law School, the American Constitution Society, the Federalist Society, and other student and faculty groups.

Congress passed the Solomon Amendment in 1994 in response to universities that barred military recruiters from their campuses because the schools’ non-discrimination policies conflicted with the military’s policy of excluding gays and lesbians. The Amendment withholds billions of dollars of federal funding from universities that treat military recruiters differently than other employment recruiters.

In November, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Solomon Amendment to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court heard arguments on the case on December 6th.

The case has been the subject of broad media attention, including stories and editorials in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, as well as on national television and radio.