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Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
In a staff editorial, the Indiana Daily Student says "Don't punish campuses for supporting equal rights". The IDS supports the "free speech" rights of law schools that refuse to let military recruiters onto campus.
I fully support the right of a university to prohibit the military from recruiting there. Whether they disagree with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy or the war in Iraq, they should have the freedom to choose who is and is not allowed on campus. When a university decides to accept taxpayer money, however, the situation changes. Tax-supported universities cannot discriminate in this way. Private and public universities operate under different rules.
The law schools protesting the "don't ask, don't tell" policy are learning the hard way that "with government money comes government strings". (This is something I wish supporters of vouchers would recognize.) When you take taxpayer dollars, you should be prepared to accept the reality that there are often conditions to accepting that money.
The federal government has every right to expect that universities benefiting from tax monies should allow the military to recruit on campus. We are in the middle of a war in Iraq, we are rebuilding Afghanistan after ousting the Taliban, and we are the targets of a religious war by Islamists. The military needs to have access to the bets and brightest. These universities would do well to learn not to bite the hand that feeds them, because they might be less likely to get fed in the future.
This is not about free speech or freedom of association: this is about whether the federal government can withhold funds to universities. In a perfect would, this would be a slam dunk, with all nine justices voting in favor of the government's position. Simply put, there is no right to taxpayer money. In order for a "right" to exist, it must not infringe on anyone else's rights. For example, it does not cost me anything for someone to express their opinions. It does cost me if that same person convince the federal government to take money out of my pocket and give it to them to amplify that speech.
These universities, if they truly believe in their cause, should find the courage to stand by their convictions and accept the consequences that come from their actions. Instead, they are whining because they might lose their free lunch.