President Joe Biden continues his breakneck pace of reversing former President Donald Trump’s policies, including directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop the lawsuit charging Ivy League Yale University for discriminating against white and Asian students who applied for admission.
The Associated Press (AP) reported the Biden Administration’s move as it continues to claim its mission is to fight racial injustice and unite the country after a tumultuous presidential election:
The government accused Yale in October of violating civil rights laws because it “discriminates based on race and national origin in its undergraduate admissions process, and that race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year.” The investigation stemmed from a 2016 complaint by the New Jersey-based Asian American Coalition for Education coalition against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.
Yale said its practices comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent and that it looks at “the whole person” when deciding which applicants to admit. Yale was gratified and pleased by those two developments, spokesperson Karen Peart said.
A department spokesperson said in a statement that it was dropping the suit “in light of all available facts, circumstances, and legal developments” but didn’t specify further. The government also notified Yale that it had withdrawn its determination letter that the university discriminated based on race and national origin.
Swan Lee, who is a co-founder of the group that filed the complaint, called Biden’s move “a racist decision because it preserves discrimination in education. It’s a setback in our fight against racial discrimination against Asian Americans in education.”
“I am totally shocked by the Biden DOJ’s hasty decision to drop the Yale lawsuit, only eight days after President Biden signed an executive order claiming to combat anti-Asian discrimination,” Yukong Zhao, the president of the Asian American Coalition for Education, said in the AP report.
“The challenge to race-based affirmative action in higher education will continue regardless of any change in the Department of Justice,” Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, said in the AP report. Blum’s organization filed a similar lawsuit against Harvard.
Trump had backed that challenge in the lower courts.
But some like the decision, including Kristen Clarke, who directed the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law before being tapped by Biden to run DOJ’s civil rights division.
“The Yale investigation also found that the university used race as a factor in multiple steps of the admissions process and that Yale ‘racially balances its classes.’” AP reported. “Federal prosecutors said the Justice Department’s underlying investigation, aimed at ensuring Yale complies with federal anti-discrimination laws, continues.”
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