The Supreme Court has handed down massive rulings. But some don’t want to play by the rules.
And now a rogue federal judge has disobeyed a direct Supreme Court order.
On Wednesday, the United States Military Academy at West Point was granted permission by a federal judge to maintain its use of race for consideration in admissions.
Affirmative Action was overturned by the Supreme Court in June due to lawsuits filed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. In the month of September SFFA filed a lawsuit against West Point. Although the military school is in the midst of its “mid-admissions cycle,” Trump appointee U.S. District Judge Philip Halpern noted in his 27-page decision that he would not provide a preliminary injunction prohibiting the use of race.
The Supreme Court ended affirmative action in college admissions – rolling back a practice that ramped up in the 1960s and 70s to increase diversity on campuses. https://t.co/YvMIF2EtaS pic.twitter.com/IYmZaBDtWE
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 29, 2023
The judge said that issuing an injunction at this time might “require West Point to withdraw already offered appointments and LOAs,” and it would also affect candidates for the current admissions season that starts on February 1.
The court emphasized the need of a complete record of facts when addressing the question of whether racial considerations are used to further compelling government objectives and if they are narrowly limited to accomplish that goal in the West Point admittance process.
“The Court cannot enjoin West Point’s use of race in admissions without a full understanding, informed by a complete factual predicate, as to what exactly are the compelling interests asserted, to whom those compelling interests belong, and how in this specific case they are or are not narrowly tailored to achieve those interests.”
In its case, SFFA claimed that the school’s admissions criteria, which are focused on race, violate the equal protection section of the Fifth Amendment. In December, in reaction to a comparable complaint filed by SFFA, a federal court decided not to prohibit the Naval Academy from admitting students based on their race.
The majority opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts made it clear that the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision does not deal with military academies since they represent “potentially distinct interests.”
Reporters were informed by SFFA founder Edward Blum that the organization is “reviewing the opinion and will be taking the next steps to stop the unfair and unconstitutional racial preferences at West Point.”
It’s true that the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court did not make it illegal for the military academies to continue to consider race as a part of the basis of their admissions considerations.
That being said, this most definitely seems backwards in the opinion of most Americans.
The whole point of Affirmative Action being overturned was that Affirmative Action is morally and ethically wrong as an idea. The justices ruling in the majority opinion generally agreed as well.
Then why would it make sense for military academies to be allowed to continue to use immoral and unethical considerations for their admissions?
They even noted in the ruling that ended affirmative Action for public universities and institutions that the purpose was to “eliminate” all traces of racial discrimination, which Affirmative Action obviously promotes.
.@MajorCBS reads portion of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion to end affirmative action in college admissions: "Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it" https://t.co/VY15vNEqz6 pic.twitter.com/XUZG0NwNH5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 29, 2023
Conservative judges on the state and federal level have been critical of the terrible moral implications that Affirmative Action represents. The fact that this was a Trump-appointed judge that ruled in favor of the continued use of racial consideration for military academy admissions is a real head-scratcher.
The lawsuit is not over and done with just yet as this ruling was a rejection of any preliminary injunction. But the Supreme Court sadly left the door open for Affirmative Action in the future.
Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.