NEW YORK – A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the U.S. Military Academy at West Point can continue to consider race in its admissions process, rejecting a request to block affirmative action policies at the school. Judge Philip Halpern denied a group’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the school’s race-conscious admissions practices.
The ruling is a result of a lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions, the same group that prompted the Supreme Court’s landmark affirmative action ruling last year. However, the high court’s ruling did not apply to military academies, prompting the group to seek an extension for West Point.
Conservative legal strategist Edward Blum, who leads Students for Fair Admissions, asked the judge to ban West Point from considering or knowing the race of applicants in the admissions process. Blum argued that such use of race is unconstitutional and violates equal protection in the Fifth Amendment.
Last June, the Supreme Court effectively ended affirmative action in higher education across the country when it struck down race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill. However, Chief Justice John Roberts clarified that the court’s decision did not apply to military academies due to their potentially distinct interests.
West Point has not yet provided a comment on the ruling. Meanwhile, Students for Fair Admissions said it is reviewing the judge’s opinion and planning its next steps to address what it perceives as unfair and unconstitutional racial preferences at West Point.
It’s worth noting that Students for Fair Admissions has a history of filing challenges to schools’ admissions practices, often recruiting plaintiffs to support its cases. In this lawsuit against West Point, the group is representing two anonymous white male high school students who plan to apply to the academy in the future.
In conclusion, a federal judge has ruled that West Point can continue to consider race in its admissions process, dismissing a request to block affirmative action policies at the military academy. This decision comes after the Supreme Court’s ruling last year, which did not apply to military academies and prompted Students for Fair Admissions to pursue legal action against West Point. The group argues that the use of race in admissions is unconstitutional, while the judge’s ruling allows the academy to maintain its race-conscious practices. West Point has yet to comment on the ruling, and Students for Fair Admissions is currently reviewing its options moving forward.