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Trump Administration Calls for an End to Affirmative Action
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Summary: The White House said that it will call for an end to race-based admissions in universities. 

The Trump Administration will end affirmation action guidelines put in place by the Obama Administration.

  
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According to AOL, the Trump Administration plans to say that the race-based guidelines implemented in 2011 and 2016 go beyond the Supreme Court’s decision that affirmative action was lawful. Instead, the White House will call for race-neutral admissions processes.

“The executive branch cannot circumvent Congress or the courts by creating guidance that goes beyond the law and — in some instances — stays on the books for decades,” said Devin M. O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled that universities may use race as a factor to help minority students get into college, but conservatives have fought back, saying that affirmative action programs hurt white and Asian-American applicants.

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Tuesday’s announcement stems from a complaint by more than 60 Asian-American groups that said Harvard University discriminated against them because they limited their acceptance of Asian-Americans. The complaint led by Students for Fair Admissions argued that Harvard violated Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin with any educational institution that receives federal assistance. Harvard countered that its admissions policy complied with US laws.



“The law on this hasn’t changed, and the Supreme Court has twice ruled reaffirming the importance of diversity,” Anurima Bhargava, who led civil rights enforcement at the Justice Department under Democratic President Barack Obama, told The Wall Street Journal. “This is a purely political attack that benefits nobody.”

Trump’s reversal would restore the guidelines under President George W. Bush, which strongly encouraged schools to admit students without considering their race.  According to ABC News, “The new guidance will not have the force of law, but schools will presumably be able to defend themselves from lawsuits by following administration policy.”

Tuesday’s announcement comes at a time when the nation is speculating on who will replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy ruled in the 2016 affirmative action case against the University of Texas — Austin that was brought on by student Abby Fisher. In that instance, the Supreme Court narrowly ruled that Austin was allowed to use race in their admissions.

The Fisher case was sponsored by Ed Blum, a conservative activist who is also involved with the Harvard case. Legal pundits believe Blum wants the Harvard case to also reach the Supreme Court, where it has a chance of possibility eroding affirmative action for good if Trump’s replacement for Kennedy is against the practice.

What do you think of affirmative action? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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