Justice Dept To Investigate Harvard Admissions Policy

By on August 8, 2017

August 8, 2017

The Justice Department last week announced it would join a challenge to Harvard admissions policies that allegedly favor Hispanics and African-Americans and discriminate against Asian-Americans. The DOJ initiative could include supporting a lawsuit that was filed in 2014 by an anti-affirmative action activist group, as well as the filing of a new lawsuit, according to a report on CNN. The 2014 suit alleges that Harvard holds Asian-American applicants to higher academic standards, effectively limiting their admissions. A Harvard spokesperson, quoted in a Harvard Crimson article, maintains that the university “considers each applicant as a whole person, and we review many factors, consistent with the legal standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court.” The Crimson articles notes the Harvard class of 2021 is 22.2 percent Asian-American, “a record high for the University.” Precisely what the Trump administration initiative would consist of is not clear, says CNN. “Its options would cover administrative moves, such as requesting detailed student-selection data, to an outright court challenge to a university’s admissions practices based on federal civil rights law or the Constitution’s equality guarantee.” Whatever form it takes, it’s clear the DOJ is intending to staff up for it. An internal DOJ document obtained by The New York Times says the Civil Right Division is seeking “attorney detailees to work with the Office of the Assistant Attorney General (OAAG0 on investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” This opportunity, the document says, is “limited to Division employees who currently serve in attorney positions.”

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