Virginia Military Institute Case Study

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The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) was founded in 1839 as an all-male institution. VMI used an adversarial style method of training and there was no equal educational opportunity equal to VMI afforded to women in the state. VMI is a state-supported college and subject to the state of Virginia’s legislative control. By the mid-1970’s VMI was the only single-sex public college in Virginia. In 1990 the United States sued the State of Virginia and VMI in District Court alleging that VMI’s all male admission policy violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. The District Court rejected the equal protection challenge claiming VMI’s all-male institution brought diversity to Virginia’s otherwise coeducational…show more content…
In response to the Fourth Circuit’s decision, the State of Virginia proposed to create the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) as a parallel program for women. In 1994, the District Court ruled that VMI’s proposal of the VWIL met the requirements of the equal protection clause by offering a substantively comparable educational…show more content…
VIRGINIA et al In the case of United States v. Virginia, et al. the question before the Supreme Court was whether the Virginia Military Institute’s (VMI) male only admissions policy violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The Equal Protection Clause provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”. VMI had a 150-year history as an all-male state-supported college. Its mission was to produce citizen-soldiers who would be prepared for both civilian life and military service, yet this “mission” was not mandated by the State of Virginia. Even though VMI had a long-standing tradition in the State of Virginia with it’s all male, high stress school, that fact alone does not make it equal under the Fourteenth Amendment. Indirectly, VMI asserted that women were not equal, but inferior, to men, by assuming a female could not successfully complete the same high stress, rigorous educational experience. VMI had over 300 women apply to the school over the years, but they were never given an opportunity to

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