[Photo Credit: By U.S. Department of Defense Current PhotosSgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton/108th Training Command- Initial - 160406-A-OY832-026, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51073093]

Supreme Court Refuses to Block West Point From Using Race as Criteria in Admissions

U.S. Military Academy at West Point may continue to consider race as an admissions criterion, the Supreme Court ruled, preserving the dwindling vestiges of affirmative action in higher education.

With the exception of military academies, the high court abolished race-conscious admissions policies at universities across the nation in a landmark decision at the conclusion of its previous term.

Subsequent to last year’s high-profile cases, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a conservative legal organization, has endeavored to dismantle the exception.

The justices denied the SFFA’s emergency request to prevent West Point from using race as a determining factor in its impending admissions cycle in an emergency decision on Friday.

This denial comes as the group’s constitutional challenge persists in a lower court.

Almost three months following the landmark Supreme Court decision, the SFFA initiated legal proceedings against West Point and, subsequently, the Naval Academy in an effort to eradicate the exception.

Early in January, a preliminary judgment in favor of West Point was rendered by a federal district judge. The SFFA subsequently filed an appeal with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit on Monday declined to halt West Point’s policies while it thoroughly reviewed the SFFA’s appeal. The panel rendered its denial in a succinct decision devoid of any detailed rationale.

Consovoy McCarthy attorneys representing the SFFA cautioned the Supreme Court that delaying the prohibition of West Point’s affirmative action would negatively impact current applicants and urged the justices to intervene on their emergency docket.

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