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I cannot quite comprehend the meaning of the sentence in bold print, and I wish to realize what it conveys:

In the United States, a long-standing controversy over the Virginia Military Institute resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling, in June 1996, that the institute must admit women. Nevertheless the Court left room for private (i.e. not state-run) single-sex institutions and other such schools, where needed, to redress discrimination.

So, judging from the context, if I were the writer, I would write:

The Supreme Court ruled that the military school must accept women applicants, Nevertheless, the Court did not say anything about private schools

Due to the word Nevertheless, I would suppose the previous sentence and the latter contradicts in meaning, but it doesn't seem to be the case, as in the article it wrote:

Nevertheless the Court left room for private (i.e. not state-run) single-sex institutions and other such schools, where needed, to redress discrimination.

This sentence seems odd to me because the two sentence appear to play the same role: Supreme Court don't like discrimination, thus the word nevertheless is inappropriately used.

Is there anything that I fail to understand? I wish someone could enlighten me.

  • It looks like the court addressed discrimination at Virginia Military and not private schools. "Left room...to redress" means allowed for other ways to correct the mistreatment. – Yosef Baskin May 18 '17 at 20:40
  • You are right that nevertheless, by definition, sets up a contrast. You can edit your question title to say "the use of nevertheless." – Yosef Baskin May 18 '17 at 20:50
  • It seems like the confusion here lies in how exactly allowing private schools to be single-sex redresses discrimination. It seems like the writer meant for "to redress discrimination" to apply to the entire Supreme Court decision, especially the part that required VMI to admit women -- not to the part that allows an exemption for private institutions. So in that sense, it is legitimately confusing. – RaceYouAnytime May 18 '17 at 21:15
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    It is a confusing sentence and you are right to question it. – michael.hor257k May 18 '17 at 21:37
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    you have to give the full citation. you glossed the first part and quoted the second part. without the full text we can only speculate. – user175542 May 18 '17 at 22:04
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The basic idea being communicated is that the decision only applies to schools funded by the government and does not also impose the same legal burden on schools that are not funded by the government.

In the United States, a long-standing controversy over the Virginia Military Institute resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling, in June 1996, that the institute must admit women.

What happened? The Virginia Military Institute must allow female students to enroll as of some date after June 1996 (where we speculate this school had refused such enrollments previously).

Nevertheless the Court left room for private (i.e. not state-run) single-sex institutions and other such schools, where needed, to redress discrimination.

What happened? New private schools were affirmed to be allowed to cater to specific sexes, especially for the purpose of offering an alternative to public schools that have historically discriminated against members of a specific sex.

So: had the court's decision changed the discriminatory opinions of the people in charge of Virginia Military Institute? No, it only made it so women who were discriminated against would have standing to sue for legal remedies. That takes time, effort, and money. The court's immediate solution is to address the damage done to women, to prevent further damage in the interim (with private schools "where needed"), and with the eventual goal of correcting Virginia Military Institute's now illegal practices so that women could enroll and be treated as any other student would be treated by the school.

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The distinction has to do with more than just private vs. public. You must also take into account the phrase, "where needed, to redress discrimination." This means that a girls' school, established to redress (remedy) discrimination against girls and women in education, might be permissible.

I say "might" because "the Court left room" in the decision for the existence of such schools. In other words, the Court did not decide that a single sex school would automatically be found to be unlawfully discriminatory.

  • That's an interesting interpretation. However, I suspect that the court actually ruled that excluding women (or men) is discrimination - it's just not unlawful discrimination when a private institution does it. – michael.hor257k May 19 '17 at 8:00
  • Which is why the original sentence makes no sense. – michael.hor257k May 19 '17 at 19:05
  • @michael.hor257k - My previous comment doesn't make sense and I am deleting it. – aparente001 May 19 '17 at 22:54
  • @michael.hor257k - The Supreme Court (or any other court, for that matter) would only rule that something is discriminatory in a legal sense. – aparente001 May 19 '17 at 22:56

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