The nation’s chief justice cleared the way for Shannon Faulkner to report to The Citadel this morning as the first female cadet in the school’s 152-year history.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist on Friday rejected an emergency request from the state-run military school to keep her out.
The Citadel made a last-ditch appeal to Justice Antonin Scalia, but he rejected the request without comment late Friday. Scalia could have granted the request or referred the matter to the full court.
Cadets are due to report this morning.
Faulkner, a 20-year-old junior, was not immediately available for comment. Her mother, reached at the family home in Powdersville, said her daughter was headed to Charleston.
Rehnquist, who studied the case from his vacation home in Vermont, gave no written reason for his decision.
“We intend to comply fully with the orders of the courts,” said Citadel President Claudius E. Watts III.
“The issue concerning single-gender education is a legal controversy about which there are differing views and attitudes. It is not a fight between The Citadel and Shannon Faulkner,” Watts said.
The Charleston school was ordered by a federal appeals court in April to admit Faulkner as a cadet if the state did not establish a comparable military program for women at some other school.
The state is developing a $10 million women’s leadership program at private Converse College, but the plan is still in preliminary stages.
The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute are the nation’s only all-male, state-supported military colleges.