Justice Department rescinds 24 Obama-era regulations

Justice Department rescinds 24 Obama-era regulations

Justice Department rescinds 24 Obama-era regulations

The policies were introduced by Mr Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, and outlined legal recommendations for institutions looking to consider race in applications as a way to boost diversity on campuses.

The Trump administration's announcement is more in line with Bush-era policy that discouraged affirmative action and instead encouraged the use of race-neutral alternatives, like percentage plans and economic diversity programs.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement also threatens the practice of affirmative action.

However Conservatives have said such programs can hurt white people and Asian-Americans.

Vanita Gupta, who oversaw the civil rights division at the U.S. Department of Justice under Obama, issued a statement saying the administration was failing in its duty to ensure the well being of all students. "Any Supreme Court nominee needs to be asked if they support precedent related to affirmative action".

"In the Trump administration, we are restoring the rule of law", Mr. Sessions said.

"The Trump administration is sending precisely the wrong message to institutions that are committed to following four decades of Supreme Court precedent", said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, a trade group that represents presidents of numerous country's colleges and universities. "The rescission of this guidance does not overrule forty years of precedent that affirms the constitutionality of a university's limited use of race in college admissions". In 2016, Kennedy was the deciding vote in a case against the University of Texas to uphold affirmative action.

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Kristen Clarke, the executive director of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights called the decision a "politically motivated attack on affirmative action" and a "deliberate attempt to discourage colleges and universities from pursuing racial diversity at our nation's colleges and universities".

These types of non-binding directives have been a popular tool for administrations to weigh in on the issue of affirmative action on campus. "We still have all of the Supreme Court rulings that would influence how we handle this". The guidance said that while race should not be the primary factor in an admission decision, schools could lawfully consider it in the interest of achieving diversity.

The move comes as the Justice Department is investigating whether Harvard University is illegally discriminating against Asian-American students by holding them to a higher standard in its admissions process. Blum said Tuesday the organization "welcomes any governmental actions that will eliminate racial classifications and preferences in college admissions".

'This guidance restated the law and our national commitment to diversity.

Harvard has denied limiting its number of Asian-American students and accuses the lawsuit's plaintiffs of oversimplifying its admissions process.

The studies were filed in Boston's federal court as both sides attempted to persuade a judge to end the suit before it reaches trial, which has been scheduled to start in October.

"Harvard will continue to vigorously defend our right, and that of other colleges and universities nationwide, to seek the educational benefits that come from a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions", the institution said.

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