DOJ reportedly going after affirmative action programs
The DOJ is reshuffling resources in its civil rights division to go after “race-based discrimination” in colleges and universities, presumably to challenge certain affirmative action policies, The New York Times reported late Tuesday.
The Times obtained an internal Department of Justice memo that sought lawyers interested in a project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
While the document doesn’t come right out and say which races and ethnicities are considered by the Trump administration as “at risk” for discrimination, the reported implication was that Jeff Sessions’ DOJ could go after affirmative action policies.
Those programs are meant to diversify campuses but the Times reported that the new effort could sue universities over admissions that allegedly go too far and discriminate against white applicants.
When contacted by Fox News, the DOJ stopped short of denying the existence of the memo but instead insisted “this isn’t a policy announcement.”
One senior U.S. government official also pointed out that the story in the Times appears to assume the memo refers to white students without evidence.
“Whenever there’s a credible allegation of discrimination on the basis of race, the department should look into it,” a DOJ official told Fox News.
The DOJ will redirect resources from the department’s civil rights division. Rather than run the operation through the DOJ’s Educational Opportunities Section, it will be handled by the division’s front office which is composed of Trump’s political appointees, the Times reported.
Two sources told The Washington Post that hand-picked Trump appointees will run the project because the career staffers who specialize in education issues refused to take part, saying it was a violation of the DOJ’s long-term stance on civil rights in school admission policies.
Supporters and critics of the project say the program is intended to target admissions programs that give blacks and Latino students an edge over applicants with similar academic records, the Times reported.
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