Equal Protection and Gender
recent years opportunities for women in the U.S. military have been expanding.
But 200,000 jobs may remain closed to women for a variety of reasons. Recently
two female Army Reserve officers sued the government for excluding them from
formal “assignment” to specific Army combat units and other positions solely
because of their gender (Sampson, 2012). They argue that being excluded from
these “assignments” limits their opportunities for advancement in the Army and
restricts their current and future earnings and their retirement benefits. They
also argue that the Army’s practice of “attaching” them to such units (instead
of formally “assigning” them which is barred under Army rules) actually exposes
them to greater danger than male soldiers because women are excluded from
combat-arms training for engaging hostile opponents.
Respond to this
3-part question in your initial post:
- Explain the Supreme Court's reasons in United States v. Virginia
(the majority opinion by Justice Ginsberg) for holding that excluding women from
VMI violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
- Explain the rationale of Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion.
- Does the military’s exclusion of women from formal and active combat
“assignments” on the basis of gender violate their Equal Protection rights? To
decide this issue, apply the rationale of either Justice Ginsberg or Justice
Scalia. Fully explain your reasons for your position in terms of a
Sampson, Z. (2012, May
25). 2 female army officers sue to reverse combat
ban. Associated Press. Retrieved from
initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with
examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and
properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts
by Day 7 in at least 100 words. Respond to someone whose perspective on “equal
protection” and gender discrimination differs from yours in some way.
Constitutional Issues Related to Same-gender
In 2012 the
Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives adopted, by a
party-line vote, an amendment to the military defense budget for 2013 that would
prohibit same-gender marriage ceremonies in base chapels serving members of the
U.S. Armed Forces. If this amendment is enacted into law, it will change current
Defense Department policy that allows use of chapels for religious marriage
ceremonies on sexual-orientation neutral basis.
If by law the government
denies a same-gender military couple permission to hold a religiously authorized
marriage ceremony in a base chapel, would such denial violate the Constitution?
Respond to this question in your initial post. Fully explain the
constitutionally-based reasons for your position, considering both the Due
Process and Equal Protection Clauses and the following cases:
- The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Loving v. Virginia (1967).
- The rationales of the Supreme Court's majority or dissenting opinions in
Lawrence and Garner v. Texas.
- The rationales of the Court’s majority or dissenting opinions in United
States v. Virginia (the VMI case).
- The rationales of various judicial opinions in recent federal court
litigation about the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 outlawing
Avoid discussion of your personal opinions
about same-gender marriage. Instead, focus on the constitutional issues that may
be raised by the specific circumstances of the proposed law that would ban the
use of military base chapels for such marriage ceremonies.
post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples
from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly
cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7
in at least 100 words. Respond to someone whose perspective on the
constitutional issues related to same-gender marriage differs from yours in some