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The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 29, 2023, ruling striking down affirmative action in college admissions includes a footnote that exempts military academies.

Alluding to the federal government’s support of affirmative action in the academies, the footnote says:

“The United States as amicus curiae contends that race-based admissions programs further compelling interests at our Nation’s military academies. No military academy is a party to these cases, however, and none of the courts below addressed the propriety of race-based admissions systems in that context. This opinion also does not address the issue, in light of the potentially distinct interests that military academies may present.”

The 6-3 decision said affirmative action polices in college admissions violate the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The clause prohibits racial discrimination by government entities.

The ruling said a student “must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race.”

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US Supreme Court Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College

AP News Divided Supreme Court outlaws affirmative action in college admissions, says race can’t be used

SCOTUSblog Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action programs in college admissions

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.