The New York Times reported Tuesday that an internal Department of Justice document indicates the Civil Rights Division will be investigating “intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
If the report is accurate, it indicates the Civil Rights Division will be taking the hammer of the federal government to the programs that discriminate against students who earn higher grades and test scores but are intentionally denied admission based on their race.
Despite the race-neutral language their report itself claims is in this internal document, the New York Times immediately posits a pro-white bias in these plans, writing that the DOJ is shifting resources “investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.”
Later in the same report, the Times quotes Reagan administration Civil Rights Division official Robert Clegg as saying, “It is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian-Americans are as well, “yet kept the language focusing on whites in the first paragraph of its article.”
In reality, both whites and Asians are widely discriminated against in college and university admissions. A 2005 Brookings Institute study by economists Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips indicated affirmative action programs do the equivalent of giving black and Latino applicants 200 points on the SAT over their white and Asian rivals.
The discriminatory effect of affirmative action programs, particularly against Asians is illustrated by the aftermath of popular referenda in California in 1996 and Michigan in 2006 banning the practice. White enrollment in the University of California system actually fell as a percentage of the student body as discrimination against Asian high schoolers eased.
Federally, racially discriminatory practices against white and Asian applicants are still legal with certain conditions. In the twin 2003 rulings Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court of the United States held that while pure “point boost” systems were unconstitutional, broader, multi-factors systems that took race into account as one of a number of “diversity” considerations were legal. At the time Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in her opinion for the Court that, “The Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”
The intervening 14 years have not seen the Court find the point at which these preferences must end. In 2016, with only seven Justices weighing in, the Court again upheld, 4-3, certain types of higher education affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas.
The reported DOJ investigation would, presumably, look into instances in which college admissions policies violate the dictates of Grutter and Fisher.
The New York Times article further implies impropriety at Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s DOJ in reporting that the reported coming investigations into affirmative action abuse will be run largely by incoming political appointees and not Deep State career staff, writing:
The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.
The career staff at the Civil Right Division has come under intense fire from conservatives. A group of leading voices from the political right of the legal profession penned a letter in March urging Sessions to clear out the leftist infiltration at the division, once considered the “crown jewel” of the Justice Department. “The Civil Rights Division has relegated its leadership role to political activists,” the letter read.
For years, a radicalized Civil Rights Division heavy-handedly advanced leftists causes with respect to voting, law enforcement, immigration, and others while constitutional Rule of Law was considered a nuisance. General Sessions has an opportunity to begin the course correction necessary to protect all Americans from civil rights abuses.
In June, President Donald Trump nominated Jones Day attorney Eric Dreiband to head the division. He is awaiting confirmation by the Senate.