Court Refuses to Block West Point Use of Race in Admissions, Doesn’t Express Any Substantive Opinion on Question

February 2, 2024   |   Tags: ,

From today's order in Students for Fair Admissions v. USMA at West Point:

The application for writ of injunction pending appeal presented to Justice Sotomayor and by her referred to the Court is denied. 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 District Court denied a preliminary injunction on Jan. 3, so the case remains pending there; part of the District Court's rationale was:

A full factual record is vital to answering this critical question whether the use of race in the admissions process at West Point furthers compelling governmental interests and whether the government's use of race is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. 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. Accordingly, Plaintiff has not met its burden, on the present record, to show a clear, or otherwise preponderant, likelihood of success on the merits.

There thus hasn't been either a final District Court decision nor a Court of Appeals decision.

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