University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

Document Type



p> This note examines the forces in play leading up to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic & Institutional Rights, Inc., a case in which the Court upheld a federal law conditioning the receipt of federal funding by law schools (and other institutions of higher learning) on those schools granting United States Military recruiters equal access to students, despite First Amendment claims brought by those schools. This note first explores the facts leading to the controversy that culminated in an appeal to the Supreme Court. Next, this note explores the background of the issues presented in Rumsfeld, including the United States military's historic treatment of homosexuals, the law schools' disagreement with military recruiters, and the background of the First Amendment arguments invoked by the law schools in an attempt to avoid being forced to accommodate military recruiters. Finally, this note explains the Court's reasoning in Rumsfeld and concludes with a discussion of the significance of the Rumsfeld decision. The significance section further illustrates how this decision the first major decision of the Court since the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist and the retirement of Justice O'Connor may foreshadow the direction of the Court's future decisions relating to military affairs and political matters.