For many alumni of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and the Citadel, the last two state-supported schools that hoped to continue their pattern of discrimination against women, the Civil War has been lost again. The suit by the Department of Justice against VMI was heard by the Supreme Court (litigation against the Citadel was deferred pending the decision on VMI) and VMI was found to be in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. These two military-style institutions, which give their sons handsome educations in engineering, the sciences, and liberal arts and a lifetime “oldboy” network of contacts, now have to admit women—and thus expose themselves to the “virus” women will bring, as one administrator at VMI put it.
Many wars were fought on the battlefields of these two cases. Alumni and administrators at both institutions did not appreciate the “northern” lawyers who came down from the Justice Department (i...
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