The same group that prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down race-conscious college admissions has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the admissions policy of the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland that seeks to bar the Naval Academy from using race as a factor in selecting entering midshipmen, its students. The group filed a similar suit in September against the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
The group led the action that resulted in a Supreme Court opinion in June that struck down consideration of race in admissions to Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The ruling has implications for all colleges in the U.S., but left open an exception for military academies like the Naval Academy, West Point, and the Air Force Academy.
The lawsuit names as defendants the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, the Naval Academy’s dean of admissions Bruce Latta, and Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, the acting superintendent of the Naval Academy.
In the lawsuit, Students For Fair Admissions describes itself as a volunteer membership organization formed to defend “human rights and civil liberties.” It promotes the idea that “racial preferences in college admissions, including the academies, are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.”
“The Academy has no justification for using race-based admissions. Those admissions are unconstitutional for all other public institutions of higher education,” the lawsuit states.
The group, led by Edward Blum, who signed the lawsuit, seeks a temporary injunction for race-conscious admissions while its claims are being litigated.
Neither Blum nor the Naval Academy immediately responded to requests for comment Friday evening.