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Nor does the opinion anywhere deny that this analysis applies to the entire University. The exclusion of men Page 746 from the School of Nursing is repeatedly characterized as "gender-based discrimination," subject to the same standard of analysis applied in previous sex discrimination cases of this Court. The logic of the Court's entire opinion, apart from its statements mentioned above, appears to apply sweepingly to the entire University. The Court, in the opening and closing sentences and note 7 of its opinion, states the issue in terms only of a "professional nursing school" and "decline[s] to address the question of whether MUW's admissions policy, as applied to males seeking admission to schools other than the School of Nursing, violates the Fourteenth Amendment." This would be a welcome limitation if, in fact, it leaves MUW free to remain an all-women's university in each of its other schools and departments — which include four schools and more than a dozen departments. The Court holds today that they have deprived Hogan of constitutional rights because MUW is adjudged guilty of sex discrimination. In 1971, MUW established a School of Nursing, initially offering a 2-year associate degree. in regard to admissions to educational institutions, this section shall apply only to institutions of vocational education, professional education, and graduate higher education, and to public institutions of undergraduate higher education; . It seems to me that in fact the issue properly before us is the single-sex policy of the University, and it is this issue that I have addressed in this dissent. The Court nevertheless purports to decide this case "narrow[ly]." Normally and properly we decide only the question presented. Women attending such colleges have chosen It is true that historically many institutions of higher education — particularly in the East and South — were single-sex. This has been characteristic of the peoples from numerous lands who have built our country. At stake in this case as I see it is the preservation of a small aspect of this diversity. It cannot be disputed, for example, that the highly qualified women attending the leading women's colleges could have earned admission to virtually any college of their choice. A distinctive feature of America's tradition has been respect for diversity.
Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley recently have made considered decisions to remain essentially single-sex institutions. Barnard retains its independence from Columbia, its traditional coordinate institution. It can free its students of the burden of playing the mating game while attending classes, thus giving academic rather than sexual emphasis. alternatives — it seeks to accommodate the legitimate personal preferences of those desiring the advantages of an all-women's college. In most of them women were given no opportunity for the same benefit as men. MUW's current annual catalog lists 913 courses offered in one year.
Although he was otherwise qualified, he was denied admission to the School of Nursing solely because of his sex. Hogan filed an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, claiming the single-sex admissions policy of MUW's School of Nursing violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Furthermore, the court stated, the admissions policy is not arbitrary because providing single-sex schools is consistent with a respected, though by no means universally accepted, educational theory that single-sex education affords unique benefits to students. Stating that the case presented no issue of fact, the court informed Hogan that it would enter summary judgment dismissing his claim unless he tendered a factual issue.
In 1979, Hogan applied for admission to the MUW School of Nursing's baccalaureate program. The court concluded that maintenance of MUW as a single-sex school bears a rational relationship to the State's legitimate interest "in providing the greatest practical range of educational opportunities for its female student population." Id., at A3. The Court of Appeals rejected the argument, holding that § 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment does not grant Congress power to authorize States to maintain practices otherwise violative of the Amendment. Section 901(a) of Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, Pub.
Held: The policy of petitioner Mississippi University for Women (MUW), a state-supported university which has from its inception limited its enrollment to women, of denying otherwise qualified males (such as respondent) the right to enroll for credit in its School of Nursing violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
(a) The party seeking to uphold a statute that classifies individuals on the basis of their gender must carry the burden of showing an "exceedingly persuasive justification" for the classification.