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CNN 20: VMI Ordered to Admit Women, June 26, 1996

Aired June 26, 2000 - 2:59 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SKIP LOESCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Supreme Court ruling will forever change the historic all-male make-up at the nation's only two state-supported military colleges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you always look like trash? Why?

LOESCHER: The Virginia military academy contended that its harsh discipline builds character. And VMI argued that it just couldn't do what it's been doing for 157 years if women were a part of the cadet corps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wouldn't be able to yell at them as much.

LOESCHER: VMI contended that it doesn't violate women's equality because they can attend the program at Mary Baldwin College 35 miles way. But women like Nancy Molette (ph), who wants to attend the Citadel, an all-male military college in South Carolina, contended separate is not equal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My father and my brother now go to graduate school.

QUESTION: And if you can't go, how would you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Disappointed.

LOESCHER: And by a 7-1 margin, the Supreme Court ruled that the case represents an unconstitutional sex segregation not unlike the infamous separate but equal doctrine of racial segregation.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg writes that "VMI offered no cure at all for the opportunities and advantages withheld from women."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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