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The conservative advocate who successfully challenged affirmative action in college admissions on Tuesday sued the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, arguing that race-conscious admissions policies at the military’s higher-education institutions violate the Constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that the use of race in university admissions violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, eliminating a tool that selective schools had used for years to diversify their student bodies. The court’s decision explicitly reserved judgment about admissions practices at military academies such as West Point, leaving the issue for another day.
Students for Fair Admissions, the group that won the Supreme Court decision, sued West Point in a New York federal court, arguing the same legal reasoning should apply.
“Instead of admitting future cadets based on objective metrics and leadership potential, West Point focuses on race,” the group argued in the lawsuit. “In fact, it openly publishes its racial composition ‘goals,’ and its director of admissions brags that race is wholly determinative for hundreds if not thousands of applicants.”
This focuses on West Point, but this will impact all service academies.
“Over the years, courts have been mindful of the military’s unique role in our nation’s life and the distinctive considerations that come with it," Blum said. "However, no level of deference justifies these polarizing and disliked racial classifications and preferences in admissions to West Point or any of our service academies.”
West Point produces about 17% of newly commissioned Army officers each year, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday also names the Department of Defense, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other officials.