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Female VMI cadets reflect on the woman who opened the college to them, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg’s majority opinion allowed women to begin attending the school in 1996

LEXINGTON, Va – One of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s most notable cases was her majority opinion allowing women to attend Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in the 1990′s.

VMI Cadet Anna Armfield spent the weekend reflecting on the death of Ginsburg.

“Without Ginsburg we wouldn’t be here,” Cadet Anna Armfield said.

Ginsburg authored the majority opinion in United States v. Virginia, the landmark 1996 Supreme Court case which opened VMI to women.

“Looking back on all that she did and what she pushed for definitely motivated me in the last few days to really reflect and think about why we’re here,” Armfield said.

In 2017, Ginsburg visited post to mark the 20-year anniversary of the decision. Ginsburg fondly recalled her friend and colleague, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

While there was no mention of President Trump’s choice to replace Scalia, Ginsburg recalled Scalia’s lone dissent in the VMI case. He said the decision to go co-ed would kill VMI.

“I knew it wouldn’t. It would make VMI a better place,” Ginsburg said in her 2017 speech.

Others inspired by Ginsburg’s work include Virginia Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, one of the first black female cadets to attend VMI.

“I looked at the men in that class and said, ‘I’m going to go to VMI, because I’m just as smart and powerful and capable as any man in this classroom,’” said Foy.

While the decision may have opened the door to women, most agree there is still work to be done, and that Ginburg’s hard work will continue to inspire women to achieve their goals for generations to come.


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