Your Lying Eyes

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06 December 2005

The Tyranny of Federal Funding

For decades liberals in Washington lorded it over states and local communities via their control of the purse strings. Because federal taxes are so heavy, localities can't really draw too much more blood out of their taxpayers and so are dependent on the federal government kicking some of its revenues back to the states in the form of highway grants, educational assistance, medicaid, etc. By threatening to withhold these funds, the federal government gets to have a lot of say in matters it has no business poking its nose into in the first place - everything from environmental regulations to blood-alcohol-content thresholds.

But today in the Supreme Court a law requiring equal treatment of military recruiters at college campuses was being challenged by various law schools. The law schools object to the military recruiting their students because it discriminates against homosexuals. For reasons I can't fathom it's apparently okay for the university itself to welcome these bigoted military recruiters to selectively recruit their students; but for the law school - which is part of the university - it is beyond the pale! The justices for the most part appeared to be equally incredulous. But regardless, the point is that law schools aren't literally required to welcome the recruiters - they'll just lose millions in federal funding for their universities if they don't. The federal government of course uses such funding mandates to enforce all kinds of other anti-discrimination policies. Add to this the fact that unlike, say, funding education, raising armies is one of the few things the federal government is actually supposed to do - I'd say the Defense Department has a pretty solid case here.


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