October 6, 1992 · Cavalier Daily

Court Backs VMI Status

The 4th District Circuit Court of Appeals upholds VMI's single-sex status, but requires that it uphold the Constitutional rights of women, possibly by establishing a separate all-female military school.


Cavalier Daily Oct 6, 1992 - Court Backs VMI Status.pdf
Greg Volkar
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Court Backs VMI Status
Cavalier Daily Staff Writer
Tie 4th District Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the Virginia Military Institute's embattled single-sex status, while also mandating the state uphold the Constitutional rights of women.
A panel of three male judges decided VMI'8 single-sex education “is justified by a legitimate and relevant institutional mission.”
The panel also ordered the state to respect the equal protection clause of the Constitution, saying the school could remain all-male only by instating a plan to guarantee the rights of women.
This decision comes after theJustice Department's appeal of the July 1991 ruling in VMI's favor. They had argued that denying women admission to the taxpayer-supported school would violate the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act.
"We look forward to seeing what initiatives or plans the state will adopt in its effort to conform with the Constitution,” Justice Department spokeswoman Amy Casner said.
The panel offered the state options including implementing a separate military school or parallel program for women, discarding VMI's public status or allowing women admission to the school.
VMI attorneys had argued that admitting women would damage the school's mission of producing citizen-soldiers. The U.S. Justice Department contended women could be part of that mission.
VMI Counsel Robert Patterson released a statement saying “two federal courts have now acknowledged that VMI's education program works, and that it is dependent upon preserving a single-sexadmission policy.
“You can be assured that we will take any and all action to sustain VMI 's position and to preserve the Institute's mission which the 4th Circuit agrees has made a “positive contribution afforded by no other institution,” the statement said.
Lisa Katz, spokeswoman for Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, said, “The governor has long stated that the control of VMI rests in the General Assembly and the General Assembly has delegated the authority to establish a policy of admissions to the VMI board of visitors.”
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Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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