Trump Rescinds Diversity-Based College Admission Guidelines

Klarize Medenilla

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Asian Journal. Read the rest here.

 

President Donald Trump announced on July 3  that he will be rescinding Obama-era guidelines that encouraged schools and universities to promote racial diversity in admissions, further signaling the effective end of affirmative action amid a transitioning Supreme Court.

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the Dept. of Justice — along with the Dept. of Education — is rescinding 24 guidance documents implemented by the Obama administration that asked school administrators to consider race in its student admissions, staying true to a November 2017 memo Sessions sent prohibiting the DOJ from implementing rules without “procedures required by Congress.”

 

“In the Trump administration, we are restoring the rule of law. That’s why in November I banned this practice at the Department [of Justice] and we began rescinding guidance documents that were issued improperly or that were simply inconsistent with current law,” Sessions said, alleging that the Obama administration acted against “constitutional principles” in imposing rules “without any public notice.”

 

However, a number of civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, do address the issue of race in school admissions, and the stipulations of those laws will not be affected by the Trump administration’s retractions, which only affect the new rules put in place by President Obama.

 

The rescission of diversity-based guidelines means that the administration will promote race-neutral methods in admissions, although the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that colleges and universities may use race as a holistic marker for admissions, as long as its use is “narrowly tailored.”

 

But with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy (who has voted in favor of affirmative action practices), those rulings may present a legal change as Trump is set to appoint a new Supreme Court justice next year.

 

 

Several universities, despite Trump’s reversal, have announced that they would still promote diversity in their admissions policies.

 

“Four decades of case law make clear that race and ethnicity can be one of many factors that universities can consider during the admissions process,” President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Peter McPherson said in a statement.

 

“Public universities will continue to operate in accordance with the Constitution, state law, and past court rulings to ensure they appropriately foster a diverse campus to the benefit of all.”

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Asian Journal. Read the rest here.

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