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United States v. Virginia (1996)

In United States v. Virginia (1996), the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Virginia Military Institute's exclusion of women violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This entry examines the backdrop of that case, the legal arguments, the Court's analysis, and the aftermath of the decision.

The Backdrop

By 1975, most all-male colleges and universities had opened their doors to women in response to social, legal, and market forces. In 1975, Congress moved to admit women into West Point and the Naval and Air Force Academies. The plan was for women to remain distinct in limited ways rather than totally conform to each institution's male-normed life. Traditional hazing was no longer sanctioned, and the physical training program was modified.

In contrast ...

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