Saturday, June 22, 2024

Racial Discrimination in Military Kept Intact by SCOTUS Ruling

'No military academy is a party to these cases...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down affirmative action in college admissions, declaring race cannot be a factor and forcing institutions of higher education to look for new ways to achieve diverse student bodies.

Conservatives and other observers are celebrating the ruling as a win for racial equality and meritocracy.

However, the SCOTUS decision keeps intact the U.S. military’s ability to racially discriminate. Chief Justice John Roberts made that clear in a footnote to his decision.

Roberts noted that SCOTUS was urged to review race-based admissions policies at the country’s military academy. But Roberts and his colleagues declined to conduct this review on the grounds that the military academies weren’t a party to the case before them.

“No military academy is a party to these cases … and none of the courts below addressed the propriety of race-based admissions systems in that context,” Roberts said.

“This opinion also does not address the issue, in light of the potentially distinct interests that military academies may present.”

Thursday’s SCOTUS decision stems from challenges to race-based admission policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the nation’s oldest private and public colleges, respectively.

Chief Justice John Roberts said that for too long universities have “concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, — the nation’s second black justice, who had long called for an end to affirmative action — wrote separately that the decision “sees the universities’ admissions policies for what they are: rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in their entering classes.”

In a separate dissent, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson — the court’s first black female justice — called the decision “truly a tragedy for us all.”

The vote was 6-3 in the North Carolina case and 6-2 in the Harvard case.

Former President Donald Trump, the current GOP presidential frontrunner, wrote on his social media network that the decision marked “a great day for America. People with extraordinary ability and everything else necessary for success, including future greatness for our Country, are finally being rewarded.”

Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that affirmative action “allowed generations of students like Michelle and me to prove we belonged. Now it’s up to all of us to give young people the opportunities they deserve — and help students everywhere benefit from new perspectives.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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