Trump To Sue Schools Over Affirmative Action

The Trump Administration is now planning to avert resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division in regards to examining and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies that presume white applicants are put at an unfair disadvantage, reported by The New York Times.

An internal document to the civil rights division is seeking for lawyers to begin working on a new project that will consist of them investigating and perhaps litigating cases that are “related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions,” according to an internal document acquired by the Times.

The document does not clearly establish whom the Justice Department believes is at risk of discrimination due to affirmative action admissions policies. The terminology the document utilizes “intentional race-based discrimination” digs to the root of the programs that were originally designed to get more minority students into colleges and universities.

Many critics of this new project say that it is obviously targeting admission programs that can give members of typically disadvantaged groups, such as African-American and Latinos more preference over other students who may have higher test scores.

Last year, the Supreme Court sustained the right of colleges and universities to incorporate diversity in their admissions criteria for prospective students in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case.The decision was made that “race-conscious” admissions program at the university is deemed constitutional under the equal protection clause.

CBS News reports that The Supreme Court stated, “Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court’s majority opinion, which also cautioned that universities should continue to scrutinize the fairness of race-conscious admissions programs.”

This current project is a clear indication that the civil rights division is now taking a more conservative stance under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This decision is followed by many other unpopular policy changes within the Justice Department like voting rights, gay rights, as well as police reforms.

The New York Times reports that Kristen Clarke, the president of the liberal Lawyers’ Committee for civil Rights Under Law, has completely condemned the affirmative action project stating that it is “misaligned with the division’s longstanding priorities.”

“This is deeply disturbing,” Clarke said. “It would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities who may fear that the government may come down on them for their efforts to maintain diversity on their campuses.”

 – Contributed by Devyn Rorie

WHUR Contributor

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