Chief Justice Rehnquist

Fri, 14 Jan 1994 09:28:40 EST

Chief Justice William Hobbs Rehnquist gave no reason, on Tuesday,
why he blocked up a lower court's ruling that a woman be allowed to
attend The Citadel, an all male military college in the South. The
U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit allowed Shannon Faulkner, an 18-
year-old women, to attend classes at The Citadel while she awaits
a decision on her discrimination lawsuit against the college. With
one sentence, Rehnquist 'ordered' her not to attend.

Rehnquist has defended the long 'tradition' of segregated schools
and his construction of the "Equal Protection Clause" does not
prohibit treating men and women differently. His order is quite
consistent with his views on segregation and gender.

In 1952 Rehnquist was a clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson when
the Supreme Court was deciding Brown v. Board of Education.
Rehnquist wrote a two page memorandum to Jackson outlining his
support of 'separate but equal' education. Further, he celebrated
the 1896 decision which found 'Jim Crow' laws constitutional,
stating ". . .I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be

Rehnquist depreciated this statement during his Senate confirmation
hearings in 1971, but he has been clear on gender. Rehnquist has
decided that the "Equal Protection Clause" does not protect
individuals from laws which mandate different treatment for men and
women. He clearly states this in Craig v. Boren (1976) and Michael
M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County (1981).

Given Rehnquist' views on both segregation and gender, it is not
surprising why he did not let a woman break the long 'tradition' of
segregation at The Citadel.