Marching Forward

A court ruling paves the way for women at Virginia Military Institute

Defenders call it a bonding experience between college-age men sharing the rigorous physical regimen and discipline of a military education. Opponents call it state-sanctioned discrimination that ultimately bars women from access to power. Last week a federal appeals court in Richmond called it unconstitutional and ruled that the elite Virginia Military Institute must remedy its all-male admissions policy by opening its 153-year-old doors to both sexes, providing a separate program for women or forfeiting more than $10 million a year in state money. But while the decision overturns a lower-court ruling, it sends a mixed message by not ordering V.M.I. outright...

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