Posted on February 5, 2024

West Point Can Continue Race-Based Admissions for Now, Supreme Court Rules

Sam Dorman and Matthew Vadum, Epoch Times, February 2, 2024

The Supreme Court allowed the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to continue considering race in admissions on Feb. 2 when it declined an injunction request from a nonprofit that opposes affirmative action.

“The record before this Court is underdeveloped, and this order should not be construed as expressing any view on the merits of the constitutional question,” the order reads. Its language indicated that the court could still consider the merits at a later date.

A similar injunction request was denied by a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit on Jan. 29. U.S. District Judge Philip Halperin said that the group Students for Fair Admissions, which brought the suit, “has failed to establish a likelihood of success warranting the extraordinary and drastic remedy sought.”

Not enough evidence was presented to the court for it to decide whether the admissions process at the academy in New York “furthers compelling governmental interests and whether the government’s use of race is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest,” the judge wrote.


SFFA had requested a Supreme Court decision on the injunction by Jan. 31, which was the deadline for applications from prospective members of the class of 2028.

In December, U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett denied a separate injunction in SFFA’s lawsuit against the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.


The Biden administration defended race-based admissions at West Point, arguing that diversity was a “national-security imperative.” In her Jan. 26 brief, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar also argued that courts shouldn’t select who is in the pipeline for military service.

“It is the Executive officials charged with protecting our national security — not courts — that have authority to determine who will become a member of the Army (as cadets do immediately upon entering West Point … ) and who will form the pipeline for the Army’s future leaders.”

The school similarly said that “the military has concluded that a diverse officer corps is critical to the military’s ability to defend our nation” because “it (1) fosters cohesion and lethality; (2) aids in recruitment of top talent; (3) increases retention; and (4) bolsters the Army’s legitimacy in the eyes of the nation and the world.”