WASHINGTON – The administration of US President Donald Trump plans to revoke guidelines that encourage considering race in the college admissions process as a way of promoting diversity, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The guidelines, put in place by the administration of President Barack Obama in 2011 and 2016, put forth legal recommendations that Trump officials contend “mislead schools to believe that legal forms of affirmative action are simpler to achieve than the law allows,” the Journal reported, citing two people familiar with the plans.
Trump administration officials plan to argue the guidelines go beyond what the Supreme Court has decided on the issue.
The US Supreme Court has ruled universities may use affirmative action to help minority applicants get into college.
Conservatives have said such programs can hurt white people and Asian-Americans.
The Justice Department under Republican President Donald Trump has been investigating a complaint by more than 60 Asian-American organizations that say Harvard University’s policies are discriminatory because they limit the acceptance of Asian-Americans.
The Justice Department joined Students for Fair Admissions, the group behind the case, which has urged the disclosure of”powerful” evidence showing that Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard is violating Title VI of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Harvard says its admissions policies comply with US laws and that it has worked to boost financial aid to ensure economic, as well as racial, diversity in its classes.
The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the Journal report. US Justice Department representatives did not return a request for comment on the report.
Vanita Gupta, who led the Justice Department’s civil rights division under Democratic President Barack Obama, criticized the decision.
“This guidance restated the law and our national commitment to diversity. The retraction reflects that the DOJ no longer has that commitment,” she wrote in a Twitter post.
Her former colleague, Anurima Bhargava, who was head of the department’s civil rights enforcement under Obama, was cited by the paper as saying: “The law on this hasn’t changed, and the Supreme Court has twice ruled reaffirming the importance of diversity.”
“This is a purely political attack that benefits nobody,”she told the Journal.
This article provided by NewsEdge.