Saturday, July 02, 2005

Who will decide what's FAIR?

One of the cases that the O'Connerless Supreme Court will hear next year directly affects education.

It's Rumsfeld v. Fair and -- as usual -- Kennedy and O'Connor would have been swing votes.

In the case, a coalition of 31 law schools that have very explicit anti-discrimination policies (i.e., no company may recruit on campus if they discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sex, religion, or sexual orientation) sued the Department of Defense which threatened to cut of all federal grants if they were not allowed to recruit.

That's not fair (sorry, that was a bad pun) according to the plaintiffs, because the Dept. of Defense (headed by Rumsfeld) discriminates against gays with it's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Don't tell, yes, but if they find out, you're out (in more ways than one).

The Third Circuit Court (in Philly) sided with FAIR (aka the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights-- great acronym). The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and will do so in their next term, when Cornyn (?), Garza (?), Alberto "Abu" Gonzalez or some other Bush appointee will be on the bench. Their vote -- considering Kennedy usually has no sympathy for gay rights -- will probably be the tiebreaker.

For more info on Rummy v. Fair, click here. For more info on the rampant speculation on O'Connor's replacement, check out the incomparable SCOTUSblog.


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