By Syrena Felty

A legal decision was overruled in Friday's Supreme Court room. The court decided to continue allowing West Point to use race as a factor in admissions. Lawsuits pushed to factor out race but were unsuccessful.

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Where Is West Point?

West Point Military Academy is located in West Point, NY. West Point, NY is about 50 miles north of New York City and is nestled on the bank of the Hudson River where General George Washington stationed his headquarters during the American Revolutionary War in the summer of 1779.

West Point, NY has a humid climate with the typical four seasons most states see in the United States. Summers are hot and winters are cold with a decent amount of snowfall. In the 2020 census there were 7341 people residing in the city. The 2020 census shows the racial makeup with 69.3% white, 12% Hispanic, 5.4% African American, 4.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.2% Native American, and roughly 10% two or more races.

West Point Admission Stats

West Point admission rates are very low. As it is very difficult to get admitted to with an acceptance rate of 12%. Half of the people who applied to West Point met the west point admission requirements and received an SAT score between 1220 and1450. Those who submitted ACT scores received between 27 and 33. The academy says the consider a students GPA the highest factor. High school rank and letters of recommendation are also taken into consideration. However, so is race.

Race Based Admissions

An anti-affirmative action group called Students for Fair Admissions, SFFA, who argues against college admissions based on race, had a lawsuit against Harvard and the University of North Carolina which was taken before the Supreme Court this time last year. The supreme court declared race-based admissions unlawful, except at United States military service academies.

The court specifically stated that the case “is underdeveloped” and the decision “should not be construed as expressing any view on the merits of the constitutional question.” Last year the decision caused the SFFA to sue West Point and the US Naval Academy twice in two separate lawsuits for race based admission decisions. The court has declined their request while the lawsuits play out.

The SFFA asked the court to step in on an emergency basis to stop the race based decisions while the lawsuits were in the works, however, the court denied. SFFA attorneys said “For now, the only question is what should happen as this case proceeds – who should bear the burden of the status quo,” “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”

West Point has now started choosing applications since the deadline closed on January 31st. The Biden administration had urged the courts to not intervene considering admission decisions are already underway and it would cause a great deal of harm for the admissions committee, besides, the admissions process is already underway.

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