Sunday, March 25, 2012

United States v. Virginia case brief

United States v. Virginia (VMI)
Holding: SC declared unconstitutional the exclusion of women by VMI. Court said creation of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin College was insufficient. Ginsburg used intermediate scrutiny.
VMI’s justifications:
  1. maintain diversity of educational benefits, said women and men learn differently. (Ginsburg said this justification did little more than reinforce stereotypes)
  2. Preserving the adversative method of education.
Dissent: Intermediate scrutiny applied, even though the dissent disagrees. Dissent suggests that Ginsburg has added language that makes it more than intermediate scrutiny by her use of the language “exceedingly persuasive”. They say this sounds like compelling interest. But these weren’t Ginsburg’s words.

Arguments for intermediate scrutiny and not strict scrutiny for gender classifications:
  1. Historical argument that Framers intended the 14th A. only to apply to race.
  2. Strict scrutiny not always appropriate b/c there are biological differences b/w women and men—real differences argument.
  3. Since women area political majority and are not isolated from men, they cannot be considered a discrete and insular minority.
  4. Gender as a construct
  5. Sex = immutable characteristic.

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