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Columns

The Department of Justice Now Designs Menus?

Does it make sense for the Department of Justice to dictate dining hall menus for a private university? The Civil Rights Division filed suit against Lesley University in Massachusetts to require hot-and-cold gluten-free foods in all dining facilities. The feds used the Americans with Disabilities Act to force a settlement, insisting on elaborate accommodations for students with unique nutritional needs.

It wasn’t acceptable to help students arrange their own food, or to purchase meals off-campus, or to consider dietary issues before selecting a particular school. The settlement also assigned space in the main dining hall for preparation of allergen-free foods and costly special training for food service workers. The idea that Washington’s top law enforcement officials would tie up the legal system and educational officials over such dietary details shows the meddlesome folly of nanny-state government.

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