Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
United States v. Virginia
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The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is a military college that only allows admissions to men. VMI stands as the only all male public institution in the state of Virginia. The mission of VMI is to “produce ‘citizen-soldiers,’ men prepared for leadership in civilian life and in military service.” VMI education features “[p]hysical rigor, mental stress, absolute equality of treatment, absence of privacy, minute regulation of behavior, and indoctrination in desirable values.” The United States sued Virginia and VMI for the school’s admission policy. The District Court ruled in favor of VMI but, it was reversed and remanded by the Circuit Court suggesting that the state and VMI “[a]dmit women to VMI; establish parallel institutions or programs; or abandon state support, leaving VMI free to pursue its policies as a private institution . . . .” Therefore, according to the suggestions of the Court of Appeals, VMI proposed a “parallel program for women: Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL).” As a result of this proposal, the District Court ruled that the plan met equal protection requirements. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s decision. The judgment of the Court of Appeals was reversed.
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