FC: United States vs Virginia (1996) By Kyle Marson and Bryan Sowers
1: Table Of Contents | Background Information- pages 1-4 Path of the case- pages 5-8 Supreme Court Case- pages 9-12 Aftermath- pages 13-17 Citations- page 18
2: Background | - The Virginia Military Institute was founded as an all- male institution in 1839. - Many women had applied to VMI, but they were all denied due to the fact that they were women.
3: - In the years of 1989 and 1990, 347 females were denied admission based on their sex. -One of those applicants that was denied admission complained to the Attorney General .
4: - The Attorney General decided that denying women solely based on their sex was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. - VMI claimed that their ground for denying women applicants were due to the harsh physical demand through training, the lack of privacy among the students there, and harsh tone from the teachers to the students.
5: -The Attorney General eventually sued VMI on the basis of a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
6: Lower Court Path | The United States Attorney General sued VMI and Virginia for violating female applicants rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment The District Court ruled in favor of VMI in 1991 The United States appealed the decision, and a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Courts judgment in 1992
7: The Appeals Court found that the Equal Protection Clause protects women's right to equality of opportunity | The Appeals Court held that denying admission to women violated their rights under the Equal Protection Clause, but also ruled that admitting women would affect some aspects of VMI’s program
8: In response, Virginia and VMI proposed a parallel program for women, the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership (VWIL) | The VWIL would be located at Mary Baldwin College which is a private liberal arts school for women
9: The District Court found that Virginia's proposal satisfied the Constitution's Equal Protection requirement, and the Fourth Circuit Court affirmed | Although the Court of Appeals acknowledged that VWIL lacked the historical benefit and prestige of VMI, The District Court and the Appeals Court approved the plan in 1995 | They held that VMI and VWIL were “sufficiently comparable”
10: -The Supreme Court had to decide whether VMI’s male-only admissions policy was unconstitutional or not. - -The Supreme Court considered whether the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin College was equal to VMI in terms of training, education, reputation of the school, connections, and opportunities once the students had graduated.
11: -In a 7 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court states that the all-male policy at the Virginia Military Institute is unconstitutional. -The Court decided that VMI did not justify their reasoning for only accepting male applicants convincingly enough to keep their all-male policy.
12: -The court specifically stated that the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership was not a sufficient comparison to VMI and did not offer the same benefits to women as VMI did to men. It lacked in many areas such as: the rigor of the training, facilities, faculty, and financial gain after graduation, alumni base, and connections after graduation.
13: -The Court also specifically stated that admitting women would not downgrade the stature of VMI or the “adversity system”.
14: Following the ruling, VMI contemplated going private to exempt itself from the 14th Amendment and the Supreme Court ruling The Department of Defense warned the school that it would withdraw all ROTC programs from the school if the school privatized
15: As a result of the action, Congress amended 10 USC 2111a, to prohibit the military from withdrawing or diminishing any ROTC program at one of the six senior military colleges, including VMI However, VMI's Board of Visitors had already voted 8-7 to admit women and did not revisit the issue after the law was amended
16: According to the Court, in order for a gender based classification to be constitutional, the state must show that it is substantially related to the achievement of an important governmental interest The decision forced V.M.I. and the Citadel, the last two state-supported all male colleges in the country, to admit women or forego public funding Two days after the ruling, Citadel officials said they would admit women and four female cadets entered the Citadel in August 1996 V.M.I. officials took a few weeks to submit making VMI the last all male public university in the United States
17: Following the landmark decision of United States v. Virginia, it appeared the Supreme Court was moving toward using a stricter form of scrutiny in gender-based equal protection claims Over the years, commentators have argued that Justice Ginsburg's use of "skeptical scrutiny" introduced a stricter test into cases involving gender-based classifications Considering Justice Ginsburg's legal crusade against gender-based discrimination, the Virginia decision suggested that the mostly male Supreme Court was finally seeing gender-based discrimination through the eyes of a woman and possibly preparing to declare gender a suspect class
18: Picture Citations http://www.newsday.com. N.p., 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 23 May 2012.
19: Blogspot. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2012. 20: Works Cited gale cengage learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2012. 21: “United States v. Virginia (Aftermath).” litigation essentials. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2012.
20: Works Cited gale cengage learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2012.
21: “United States v. Virginia (Aftermath).” litigation essentials. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2012.