United States v. Virginia : 518 U.S. 515 (1996)

United States

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  • Steeped in history and tradition, the Virginia Military Institute remained all-male long after the state's other public universities became coeducational. VMI's leaders and alumni believed that a single-sex environment was essential to the school's spartan "adversative" educational method. When a female high-school student complained to the U.S. Department of Justice about VMI's policy, the DOJ filed a lawsuit claiming that the Equal Protection Clause required the state to offer the same opportunities to women as it did to men. The documentary tells the story of the case and the aftermath through interviews with VMI's leaders, including Board of Visitors President Joseph Spivey, and Generals Josiah Bunting, John Knapp, and Normal Bissell; expert witnesses Richard Richardson, Clifton Conrad, and Frank Brewer; Judges Jackson Kiser and Paul Niemeyer; DOJ lawyer Judith Keith; former Mary Baldwin College President Cynthia Tyson; National Women's Law Center attorney MarciaGreenberger; and author Laura Brodie. Also included on the DVD is an interview with Shannon Faulkner, whose lawsuit against the Citadel in South Carolina unfolded at the same time.


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  • Case video (full) (24:52 min.) -- Case video (short) (16:55 min.) -- Aftermath (16:14 min.) -- Party narratives (15:50 min.) -- Trailer (1:50 min.)
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