The group known as Students for Fair Admissions has filed suit against the historic military academy alleging it is using a race-based admissions policy that violates the high court ruling in June. In that decision, the justices said a student “must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race."
West Point was not included in the otherwise sweeping decision over affirmative action, however, so the lawsuit alleges the military academy is violating the Fifth Amendment's equal-protection clause in the U.S. Constitution, according to an Associated Press story.
Allegations of reverse discrimination often involve white students complaining about a race-based policy that penalizes them but the Harvard lawsuit was different. It pointed out the Ivy League school was openly penalizing Asian applicants based on their reputation for being top-scoring high school students who fill out a stellar college application.
Bob Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, attended West Point from 1969-1973. The military academy followed racial quotas at the time because of blatant discrimination, he says, but those days are thankfully behind us and society has improved.
“We should base it totally on their physical fitness to be soldiers and sailors, or airmen, and their merit, their scholastic record,” he says. “That makes sense to me."
When cadets began classes this summer, minorities accounted for about 38% of West Point's enrollment of approximately 1,240 cadets, according to the AP story.