The Justice Department under President Donald Trump is getting ready to take on affirmative action in college admissions, according to The New York Times.
The Times obtained an internal announcement to the civil rights division in which the document looks for current lawyers at the department who might be interested in working on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
The department would use its resources toward investigating and suing universities over policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.
What’s more, it seems that this push would involve the front office, where political appointees work, rather than the actual Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants who normally handle the work related to education.
Previously, the Supreme Court has ruled on affirmative action by saying that universities and colleges can benefit from having a more diverse student body and that using race as part of the determination for admissions, as long as it is part of a “holistic” approach rather than part of race-based quotas or numbers games, is justified as an admissions policy. However, that still leaves plenty of room for interpretation, so it’s not clear how this will be applied to the actual practices of higher learning institutions.
Vanita Gupta, who ran the civil rights division in the Obama administration’s second term, said of the announcement, “The fact that the position is in the political front office, and not in the career section that enforces antidiscrimination laws for education, suggests that this person will be carrying out an agenda aimed at undermining diversity in higher education without needing to say it.”