The Trump administration on Tuesday withdrew Obama-era guidelines on affirmative action, a move seen as a signal that the federal government may soon challenge Harvard University's admissions practices and prod other schools to drop race-conscious policies.
The Justice and Education Departments are rescinding Obama-era policies that advocate the use of race in college admissions.
And in November, Sessions asked the Department of Justice to look into affirmative action policies that he thinks are unconstitutional.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the 24 documents many of which gave advice to schools on how to deal with Supreme Court decisions on race and admissions "were unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper". The new case, particularly with the recent retirement announcement of Justice Kennedy, puts that ruling in danger.
Last year, Sessions announced that he was ending the practice of the Justice Department issuing "guidance documents" that have the "effect of adopting new regulatory requirements or amending the law" but do not go through the formal rulemaking process. The case revolves around affirmative action and whether or not states have the right to ban schools from using race as a consideration in school admissions.
MJ: Could you explain what the Trump administration's decision today accomplishes?
'This is not a change in the law. or a ruling from the Supreme Court.'The Trump administration made a decision to take down these guidances at this moment when there haven't been any changes in the law.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the changes an effort to restore the "rule of law", though civil rights groups decried the move and some universities said they meant to continue their diversity efforts as before.
"This is a wholly political attack", Ms. Bhargava said. Most were from the Obama era.
The Trump administration did not offer a road map for schools moving forward. But she said it will have no impact on laws that govern school integration and admissions, nor will it affect the hundreds of schools under desegregation orders.
In 2011, the Obama administration encouraged America's selective educational institutions to cultivate diversity in their classrooms, by "taking account of the race of individual students in a narrowly tailored manner". I hope they continue to want to pursue those important and necessary goals. Blum said Tuesday the organization "welcomes any governmental actions that will eliminate racial classifications and preferences in college admissions".
MJ: How does this action compare to what other Republican administrations have done in the past? The new policy would not have the force of law, but it amounts to the official view of the federal government. "Any Supreme Court nominee needs to be asked if they support precedent related to affirmative action".
Why are they doing this?In 2016, Kennedy was the deciding vote in a case against the University of Texas to uphold affirmative action. There's no question that one of the areas that this administration wants to take a swipe at is affirmative action, as they describe it.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.