My private theory on why nearly every person admitted to Columbia Law School in August was female is that the admissions office belatedly realized the gender imbalance and tried to correct it at the last minute with the waiting list admits. So, for what may be the first time in my life, I am an affirmative action beneficiary, and I'm gratified to see my support for the policy finally pay off.
Even for those who think that race-based affirmative action is unconstitutional, this isn't a problem. First, as a private university Columbia is not a state actor; second, and more importantly, the 14th Amendment is not interpreted to require gender equality to the degree that it is perceived to require racial equality. Of course, the 14th says nothing about either race or gender, but the popular reading is to sort of mush the 15th Amendment into the 14th, so that if you squint hard enough, it becomes "No State shall [... blah blah... ] equal protection of the laws on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
What I've been wondering about for some time is why we don't use a similar reading that would squash the 19th Amendment into the 14th as well. After all, the 15th and 19th have the exact same text, except where the former says, "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude," the latter says, "on account of sex." Using the same strict scrutiny for gender that we use for race could create upsets everywhere, from forcing women into Selective Service registration to making the legal recognition of same-sex unions constitutionally necessary.
Who needs the Equal Rights Amendment when we have the 14th plus the 19th?