Critics Blast Trump Administration for Plan to End Affirmative Action

Donald Trump and Barack Obama

The guidance reversed Tuesday provided examples of different educational contexts within which institutions could permissibly consider race and answered questions about how to interpret Supreme Court decisions. "In some cases, race-neutral approaches will be unworkable because they will be ineffective to achieve the diversity the institution seeks". It guided - but did not command - schools and universities to factor race in admissions (though not as a chief factor) and argued that diversity was a "compelling interest" for the schools. In a statement, the school called the lawsuit an attack on its ability to consider race in admissions, which it says is necessary to assemble a diverse mix of students.

The move fits into a broader context of Trump administration reversals of a number of Obama-era education policies and regulations. The new pronouncement does not have the force of law, and schools committed to the practice can continue to use it. "We still have all of the Supreme Court rulings that would influence how we handle this". The Trump administration signaled Tuesday that it planned to reinstate the Bush philosophy.

Anurima Bhargava: They were put together to explain how schools, colleges, and universities could promote diversity and address segregation and racial isolation in ways that were consistent with the existing law.

That lawsuit, first filed in late 2014 by conservative advocate Edward Blum, who is white, is expected to go to trial in October.

As news of the Trump administration's directive to rescind affirmative action policies made by President Barack Obama was announced on Tuesday, Black Twitter went online to share their frustrations with Trump-as well as their lack of surprise.

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Eight states already prohibit the use of information on race in public college admissions: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. What I hope is that colleges and universities and schools realize that the law hasn't changed and that this doesn't serve as a deterrent or discouragement from taking steps that they have wanted to take.

The high court has been generally accepting of considering race in admissions decisions to achieve diversity. The opinion, written by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, granted affirmative action policies a narrow victory by permitting race to be among the factors considered in the college admission process. Communication to colleges and universities published between 2011 and 2016 cite previous Supreme Court cases to provide a legal basis for voluntary affirmative action programs. Justice Antonin Scalia died after the court heard arguments in the case but before the decision was handed down.

"The Administration's rollback of vital affirmative action guidance offends our nation's values and promise of opportunity for all", said Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House of Representatives' Democratic leader. However, the action does suggest that the federal government will be more willing to investigate complaints by applicants that they were denied entrance to a particular college due to their race, experts said.

The Supreme Court set the precedent that allowed for affirmative action in college admission decisions in 1978 and reaffirmed that precedent in 2003, 2013 and 2016.

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