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West Point defends race-based admissions as Supreme Court weighs emergency petition

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West Point is defending its use of race in admissions, citing the need for a diverse officer corps.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote, “For more than forty years, our Nation’s military leaders have determined that a diverse Army officer corps is a national-security imperative.”

“Achieving that diversity requires limited consideration of race in selecting those who join the Army as cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point,” she continued.

This comes in response to a lawsuit seeking to pause the practice.

The Supreme Court recently ruled against using race in college admissions, but this ruling does not apply to military academies.

The student group, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), is seeking to eliminate this exception, arguing that it violates the Constitution.

SFFA lawyers argued, “Should these young Americans bear the burden of West Point’s unchecked racial discrimination? Or should West Point bear the burden of temporarily complying with the Constitution’s command of racial equality?”

Prelogar explained, “The injunction SFFA seeks would force the Army to abandon policies that senior military leaders have deemed imperative to developing an effective fighting force, thereby harming ‘the public interest in national defense,’” Prelogar wrote.

“Every year this case languishes in discovery, trial, or appeals, West Point will label and sort thousands more applicants based on their skin color—including the class of 2028, which West Point will start choosing in earnest once the application deadline closes on January 31,” wrote SFFA’s counsel.

The SFFA wrote in their filing, “Though SFFA appreciates that injunctions are extraordinary, they are necessary when the government refuses to stop facially illegal, rapidly approaching, intentional discrimination.”

They claim that two White applicants will suffer if the injunction is not granted.

The government opposes the request, stating that abandoning race considerations would harm national defense.

The student group asked the court to act before West Point’s application deadline, but the government argues that an injunction would disrupt the admissions process.

A federal judge previously denied the student group’s request, stating that they couldn’t show they were likely to prevail in the case.

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