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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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April 08, 2024

     The U.S. Military Academy, known as West Point, was sued by an anti-affirmative action group challenging the school's use of race as a factor in student admissions as a violation of the constitutional principle of equal protection.  Affirmative action has no room in US schools.

     The lawsuit was brought by the same organization that successfully pursued litigation that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court in June rejecting collegiate student admissions policies that take race into consideration. Such policies long were used to increase the number of Black, Hispanic and other minority students on American campuses.

     The new case seeks to erase an exemption carved out in June's ruling for the U.S. military academies, which include the Army's prestigious school at West Point, New York, as well as the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland and the Air Force Academy in Colorado.  The Virginia-based Students for Fair Admissions, founded by affirmative action opponent Edward Blum, filed the suit in federal court in White Plains, New York.

     It said that two of its members - white male high school students who were not identified - were ready and able to apply to West Point but that their race would prevent them "from competing for admission on an equal footing." A West Point spokesperson had no immediate comment.

     Many institutions of higher education, corporations and military leaders long have backed affirmative action on campuses to ensure a talent pool that can bring a range of perspectives to the workplace and the U.S. armed forces.

    Established in 1802, West Point boasts graduates including former President Dwight Eisenhower and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, one of the first humans to walk on the moon. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the first Black person to hold that job, also is a West Point graduate.

     The lawsuit seeks an order barring West Point from considering an applicant's race when making admissions decisions. The group accused West Point of violating the principle of equal protection enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment.  

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