Student Group Files Emergency Petition With Supreme Court Over West Point Race-Based Admissions

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court Friday asking that the justices halt West Point’s race-based admissions policy as the lawsuit continues through the lower courts.

SFFA sued the military academy in September 2023, arguing that West Point’s admission policies are discriminatory based on race and violate the Fifth Amendment after winning a similar case at the Supreme Court in June. The student group asked the Supreme Court to prevent the academy from using race as a metric in admissions while the lawsuit goes through an appeals process in a lower court. (RELATED: Judge Declines To Block Race-Based Admissions At US Naval Academy)

“By January 31, this Court should enjoin respondents from considering the fact of an applicant’s race as a factor in admissions decisions, pending final disposition of the appeal by the Second Circuit,” the petition reads.

Nearly 1000 Cadets Graduate From U.S. Military Academy At West Point

WEST POINT, NEW YORK – MAY 21: Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrives for the 2022 West Point Commencement Ceremony at West Point Military Academy on May 21, 2022 in West Point, New York. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

On Jan. 3, a lower court refused to grant a preliminary injunction requested by SFFA due to the case being “unlikely to succeed on the merits,” according to the petition.

“So it declared SFFA unlikely to succeed on the merits—not because West Point’s use of race was likely constitutional, but because the court lacked a ‘full factual record.’ The court did not explain what specific facts prevented it from making a prediction about the likely merits at the preliminary injunction stage. And it did not explain why, even accepting West Point’s facts as true and crediting its stated interests, SFFA wouldn’t prevail on narrow tailoring,” the petition reads.

SFFA President Edward Blum said in a prepared statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation that he hoped that the Supreme Court would “forbid” West Point’s race-based admissions policy.

“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. These practices are antithetical to our nation’s military institutions and mission,” Blum said.

SFFA won a landmark case against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina in June 2023 after the Supreme Court ruled that race-based admissions “violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Even after the court’s decision, President Joe Biden’s administration urged colleges to continue to use race in the admissions process.

Following the decision, multiple schools have begun purging and restructuring their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) departments and some state legislatures have pushed bills ban DEI in higher education.

West Point did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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