Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan case brief

Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan case brief summary
458 U.S. 718 (1982)

Appellant state women's university challenged a ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which held that its denial of admission of appellee male student to its nursing school violated the equal protection clause, U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV.

A male student sought to enroll in a state women's university because a baccalaureate degree in nursing would enable him to earn more and to obtain specialized training. No similar school was located within a reasonable distance. The university allowed male students to attend only on an auditing basis. The university argued that it should be allowed to continue prohibiting male students from enrolling for credit because the university had traditionally served only women and because the prohibition compensated for past discrimination against women.


  • The Court found that the prohibition violated the equal protection clause because it was not substantially related to an important governmental objective. 
  • The Court noted that no evidence of past discrimination in this area had been put forth. 
  • The Court further found that § 901(a)(5) of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, codified at 20 U.S.C.S. § 1681(a), did not exempt the university from any constitutional obligations, and instead, at most, exempted the university from the requirements of Title IX itself.
The Court affirmed the judgment below, striking down the university's prohibition on allowing male students to attend for credit.

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