WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court On Friday, it rejected a request by a conservative group to allow West Point to continue to consider race in its admissions process for now.
In a brief order, the court rejected a request by Students for Fair Admissions, the same conservative group that filed the cases that led to the court’s decision last year. finished affirmative action in higher education. That decision was shot Admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.
“The record in this Court is insufficiently developed, and this order should not be construed to express any opinion on the merits of the constitutional question,” the order reads.
Located in New York state, West Point provides higher education to US Army cadets who go on to become officers after graduation. It is one of five such service academies, including the Naval Academy in Maryland and the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
A note was added to the Supreme Court’s ruling that said it did not address whether service academies like West Point could continue to consider race in admissions “in light of the potentially disparate interests that military academies may present.”
Edward Bloom, president of Students for Fair Admissions, criticized the decision in a statement Friday.
“For the foreseeable future, it is disappointing that the race of young men and women applying to West Point will be used as a factor in their acceptance or rejection,” he said. said that our nation’s best and brightest young men and women would be classified, sorted and prioritized not only by their ability, but by the color of their skin.
Opponents of a similar lawsuit against the Naval Academy had asked the court to rule by the Jan. 31 deadline to apply to West Point for admission this year.
“Should these young Americans bear the burden of West Point’s unchecked racial segregation? Or should West Point bear the burden of temporarily complying with the Constitution’s command of racial equality?” Attorneys for Students for Fair Admissions wrote in court filings. The group says its membership includes two “fully qualified but white” West Point applicants.
Opponents, who asked the Supreme Court to intervene immediately, said West Point’s program was inconsistent with last year’s Supreme Court ruling. The academy gives preference to black, Hispanic and Native American applicants, they said in court documents.
U.S. military leaders have long stressed the importance of racial diversity in leadership positions, in part because the ranks themselves are so diverse.
In her filing, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said that for almost half a century, “our nation’s military leaders have determined that a diverse Army officer corps is essential to national security, and that achieving that diversity requires limited racial consideration in the selection of Army recruits. as cadets”.
West Point has been reviewing applications since August and has already made hundreds of offers, Prelogar said.
Lower courts have declined to immediately block West Point, citing race, pending litigation.