A group opposed to affirmative action on Friday asked the Supreme Court to block the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from considering race as a factor in admissions decisions while a dispute over the practice proceeds in a lower court.
The request came from Students for Fair Admissions, the group behind a successful Supreme Court challenge to race-conscious collegiate admissions policies in cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
West Point is a prestigious military service academy in New York state that educates cadets for commissioning into the U.S. Army.
Students for Fair Admissions said that West Point’s application deadline for the class of 2028 is Jan. 31, and asked the Supreme Court to decide the request for an injunction by that time.
The U.S. Justice Department in court filings has said that West Point is a “vital pipeline to the officer corps” and that its race-conscious admissions practices help the Army achieve its “mission critical” goal of having officers as diverse as its enlisted military personnel.
Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, in a statement called race-conscious admissions “antithetical to our nation’s military institutions and mission.”
“It is our hope that the Supreme Court will forbid West Point from using racial classifications and preferences in their admissions process for their incoming class going forward from today,” Blum said.
His group’s Supreme Court filing came after a federal judge rejected its request for a preliminary injunction on Jan. 3 and rebuffed its request for an emergency injunction the next day.
The group appealed to the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has yet to rule on their request.
The group sued last September challenging West Point’s admissions process on behalf of two Students for Fair Admissions members – a high school student applying for the first time and a first-year college student applying for the second time.
Both students “are fully qualified but white,” the group said.
The lawsuit said West Point’s admissions practices discriminated against white applicants and violated the principle of equal protection in the U.S. Constitution. . . . .(read more on Reuters)