WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The debate about racial preferences in admissions has been reignited by news that the Justice Department’s civil rights division anticipates “investigations and possible litigation" into the "intentional race-based discrimination" that is part and parcel of affirmative action in college and university admissions. The New York Times reports this as evidence of a Trump administration "project" aimed at "investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies." In response, however, the Justice Department explained that it was merely working on a single "administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved."
The following is the statement of the Committee for Justice president Curt Levey:
"The Committee for Justice commends the Justice Department for opening an investigation into the complaint filed by Asian-American applicants victimized by race-based admissions policies, after their complaint was ignored for almost two years because of the Obama administration policy of enforcing civil rights laws only when the victims are members of 'disadvantaged' minority groups," said Committee for Justice president Curt Levey. "Moreover, CFJ hopes that this lone investigation is just the beginning of a Trump Administration policy of enforcing the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against discrimination that protect all Americans."
"For at least three reasons, this first year of this new administration is an ideal time for an evaluation of the unintended consequences of 'reverse' discrimination," Levey explained. "For one thing, discrimination against Asians and other groups in employment, contracting and admissions became even more widespread during the last eight years as the Obama administration pursued the progressive theory that civil rights laws apply only to 'our nation’s most oppressed minority groups.'"
"Secondly, post-election studies have confirmed what everybody already suspected – that President Trump was elected because he was willing to challenge the media and political establishment's politically correct orthodoxy on cultural issues," Levey added. "Trump has the courage and now the electoral mandate to take on controversial issues like immigration and affirmative action that so many establishment Republicans shrink from."
"Finally, all indications are that Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire next year at the end of the Supreme Court's upcoming term. By the time new legal challenges to racial preferences reach the High Court, Kennedy will likely have been replaced by a Trump nominee, thus increasing the chances for victory by the opponents of preferences," Levey emphasized. "Virtually any of the men and women on the President's list of potential High Court nominees is likely to be better on this issue than Justice Kennedy, who has largely been unwilling to join the Court's four other center-right justices in taking a strong stand against reverse discrimination."