A conservative advocacy group that won a Supreme Court case against race-based enrollment policies at Harvard is now suing the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, alleging that the academy's admissions policy is unconstitutional as it's partly based on race.
The group wants the court to find the use of race in admissions at West Point unconstitutional and impose race-blind candidate evaluation procedures.
More DetailsSFFA is the same group that won a case before the Supreme Court on June 29, reviving a strict interpretation of the 14th Amendment to make clear that equal treatment under the law bars discrimination based on race, even when that discrimination gives a leg up to groups considered "marginalized" or "underrepresented" in public life.
Heartened by its recent win against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the group has set its sights on purging the U.S. military—and West Point—from what it sees as woke policies.
In its latest legal action, SFFA argued that, for most of its history, the West Point Academy evaluated cadets based on achievement and merit—but that has now changed.
“Instead of admitting future cadets based on objective metrics and leadership potential, West Point focuses on race,” the group wrote in the lawsuit. “In fact, it openly publishes its racial composition ‘goals,’ and its director of admissions brags that race is wholly determinative for hundreds if not thousands of applicants.”
But "America's enemies do not fight differently based on the race of the commanding officer opposing them" and "soldiers must follow orders without regard to the skin color of those giving them," the group added.
However, West Point sets benchmarks for the percentage of each class that should be filled by people of different races and ethnicities, and it "meticulously tracks its compliance with those figures down to a tenth of a percentage point," the group said.
SFFA wants the court to declare West Point's admissions policy unlawful and block it, arguing that the academy "discriminates based on race."
Asked for comment, the West Point public affairs office told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “The U.S. Military Academy does not comment on pending litigation.”
The Rise of 'Wokeness'The rise of "wokeness" in the military has been the subject of increased scrutiny and criticism, with a Navy training video instructing sailors how to use personal pronouns in line with the latest progressive norms so as to create a "safe space for everybody" being one example of that has irked many on the right who insist the military's focus should be on competence and readiness—not pronouns.
After admitting that he's "not even sure what that word truly means," he said that America's military is "exceptionally strong."
"It's powerful. It's ready. In fact, our readiness rate is—the way we measure readiness—is better now than they've been in years," he added.
"This military is a lot of things but woke it is not," Mr. Milley said.
However, Mr. Milley acknowledged that there are "some things out there" that "could be fit into that category," referring to "woke."
"But I don't think it certainly is—it is not a broad-brush description of the U.S. military as it exists today," he added.
But some—perhaps even many—would disagree.
"Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change," Mr. Spoehr argued.
After listing various ideological policies that have been adopted by the U.S. military—including indoctrinating service members in critical race theory—he said the military is struggling to gain new recruits in adequate numbers and Americans are losing confidence in the military.
"The bottom line is that precious time and money are being poured into woke programs and projects that would be better applied toward making the military more capable," he argued.