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Court Orders The Citadel to Admit Shannon Faulkner to Cadet Corps;
ACLU Asks The Citadel to Assure A Smooth Transition
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 22, 1994
CHARLESTON -- Ruling in an ACLU case that has drawn national
attention, a federal judge today ordered South Carolina's all-male
military academy, The Citadel, to admit a woman, ending 152 years of
exclusion from the state institution's Corps of Cadets program.
"With this historic ruling, The Citadel must open its doors to
Shannon Faulkner," said Sara L. Mandelbaum, Acting Director of the
American Civil Liberties Union's national Women's Rights Project. "The
ACLU calls upon The Citadel to assure her safety and a smooth transition
when she enters the Cadet Corps in the Fall."
In his decision today, Judge C. Weston Houck of the Federal
District Court in Charleston said: "The defendants have failed to
articulate an important policy that substantially supports offering the
unique benefits of a Citadel-type education to men and not to women, and
The Citadel's refusal to admit Faulkner to its Corps of Cadets because of
her sex violates her constitutional rights under the Equal Protection
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution."
On January 20, 1994, Faulkner became the first woman to enroll and
attend classes along side cadets at The Citadel, which is a public
institution. Today's ruling permits Faulkner to enroll in The Citadel's
rigorous Corps of Cadets program in the Fall. The ruling grants The
Citadel another 60 days to devise a remedial plan for meeting
constitutional requirements for the admission of other women. A hearing
may take place concerning that plan. If the school can not come up with a
plan that meets the court's approval, it will be required to admit all
eligible women for the 1995-96 school year.
"Shannon Faulkner epitomizes the very qualities The Citadel seeks
in its students -- leadership, persistence, honor and dignity," said Steve
Bates, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina. "We are pleased
that she will be able to attend The Citadel as a cadet and we hope she can
now get on with her education."
The ACLU first took on Faulkner's case in February of 1993. As a
high school senior, she had applied to The Citadel's Corps of Cadets
program. A first-rate student and varsity athlete with a gender neutral
name, she was accepted on her merit because the school did not realize
she was a woman. When The Citadel discovered that she was female, it
rescinded her acceptance. The ACLU subsequently filed Faulkner v. Jones,
challenging The Citadel's males-only policy in its Corps of Cadets
In addition to Faulkner v. Jones, the ACLU is also challenging The
Citadel's policy of denying women admission to its day program for
veterans in Johnson v. Jones. A decision in that case is now pending
before the Fourth Circuit.
Shannon Faulkner is represented by the ACLU's Mandelbaum, the ACLU
of South Carolina, Henry Weisburg of the law firm of Shearman and
Sterling, New York attorney Val Vojdik, Charleston attorney Robert Black
and Greenville attorney Sue Coe.
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