A federal judge on Wednesday turned away an initial attack on the use of race as a factor in admissions at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, saying it is unclear if the policy is illegal under a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett rejected a request for a preliminary injunction stopping the academy from considering race as a factor in who gets one of the roughly 1,200 slots for incoming midshipmen each year.
The decision comes seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the use of race in admissions decisions in a case involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The decision, though, did not address the use of race in admissions at the military academies because of the unique needs of the armed services.
In rejecting the injunction request, Bennett found that is unclear that the group Students For Fair Admissions, which also brought the cases against Harvard and North Carolina, would win the case and that the plaintiffs are both enrolled at other universities.
“Moreover, SFFA has not clearly demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits or that its members will suffer irreparable harm absent injunctive relief,” Bennett wrote.