(BrightPress.org) – A federal judge has blocked an injunction to temporarily suspend the U.S. Naval Academy’s racial admissions criteria last Thursday, December 14th according to a report from Reuters.
The lawsuit was brought by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) challenging the use of ethnicity and racial background as a factor in the admission of students. SFFA claims that said use violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment. The group was founded by Edward Blum and is responsible for the successful challenge of race criteria brought before the Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett said Blum’s group failed to adequately prove to him that they would succeed at trial in proving that the use of race as a factor in admissions is a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
The government’s lawyer, Joshua Gardner, argued that the military needed to use race as a factor to ensure it had adequate numbers of “diverse officers” to lead an “increasingly diverse fighting force.”
Bennett, himself a 20-year Army Reserve veteran with the Maryland National Guard, said there have always been racial tensions in the military. He indicated they have improved over time, but are still present to some degree. Bennett said his written ruling will come within a week, and that the case should proceed swiftly to trial on the merits. He indicated his awareness that the ordeal could end up before the Supreme Court eventually.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court rejected legal rationales defending the use of race as an admissions criteria in American colleges and universities. They left military recruiting at the academies off the table as Chief Justice John Roberts then wrote in the majority opinion that they had “potentially distinct interests.”
Blum’s SFFA is also suing in New York to challenge the same policies at the West Point Military Academy. Oral arguments will begin on December 21st.
President Joe Biden’s administration has argued that having minority representation in the upper echelons of military leadership ensures trust from the non-commissioned officers. In other words, they believe that to send minorities to fight and die, they require minorities to give the orders.
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