SCOTUS Pressed To Rule On Affirmative Action

While the Supreme Court already struck down the use of affirmative action in admissions practices for institutions of higher learning, the justices are now being asked to take it one step further.

The group that brought the original cases to the high court, Students for Fair Admissions, wants the Supreme Court to rule the same way it did in regard to higher education institutions to the Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The landmark ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court last June, which effectively banned colleges from considering an applicant’s race as part of the admissions process. That decision didn’t apply to U.S. military academies, though.

That led the SFFA to sue the Naval Academy and West Point, searching for the same result.

To this point, the SFFA hasn’t been successful in its fight, which is why it has petitioned the Supreme Court to take up the case on an emergency basis.

The group wants the high court to ban West Point from making race part of its decision-making process for admissions, while the lawsuit is proceeding through the appeals process.

In a letter to the Supreme Court justices, lawyers for the SFFA 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.

“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?”

The SFFA has asked the Supreme Court to make a decision by Wednesday, which is the deadline for candidates to apply for acceptance into West Point for next year.

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is responsible for emergency requests that come from the New York region, ordered the military academy to respond by Tuesday at 5 p.m., which is a pretty quick turnaround time.

Sotomayor has the option to either act on the request that the SFFA has made on her own, or she has the ability to refer the case to the full Supreme Court.

In last year’s decision, the high court ruled in favor of the SFFA in its case against the University of North Carolina and Harvard University.

In this most recent request, the group said the admissions practices at West Point are “worse” than how Harvard used to use race in admissions.

A federal judge, though, didn’t issue a preliminary ruling that would’ve blocked the admission policies at West Point, saying that the group’s case likely wouldn’t hold up.

The case was brought by the SFFA on behalf of two anonymous plaintiffs. They have been described in the court filings and white males who intend to apply for entrance into West Point in the next few years.