At Crooked Timber, Corey Robin considers a quirk in right-wing thinking, South Carolina style:
In his campaign for reelection to the Senate, Lindsey Graham is facing several challengers from his right, all of whom are complaining that Graham is not conservative enough to represent the state of South Carolina.
One of Graham’s right-wing challengers is Nancy Mace. Like her fellow challengers, Mace claims the mantle of the Tea Party. Unlike her fellow challengers, she’s the first female graduate of The Citadel.
The Citadel was once an all-male military school. In 1995, Shannon Faulkner was the first woman to enroll there. Her effort was spearheaded by the Clinton Administration and theNational Organization for Women. She quit after a week, citing extensive harassment at the hands of her male classmates, who danced and cheered as she drove off from the school.
While Faulkner had been pursuing her case at The Citadel, however, the Clinton Administration had been attempting to force the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) to accept women. In June 1996, it succeeded, when the Supreme Court, in United States v. Virginia, struck down VMI’s all-male admissions policy.
Three days later, The Citadel gave up its battle against women cadets. That same year, Nancy Mace enrolled there, and graduated in 1999.
The VMI decision was written by feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and was joined by Court liberals John Paul Stevens, David Souter, and Stephen Breyer, as well as Court moderates Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy. The sole hard-right conservative to strike down the VMI policy was Chief Justice William Rehnquist, though he did so on narrower grounds than the majority. Antonin Scalia dissented. Clarence Thomas recused himself because his son was a student at VMI.
And now we have Nancy Mace complaining that Lindsey Graham is too liberal.