Trump Admin. Wants Colleges to Use ‘Race-Blind’ Admissions Procedures

The Justice Department is reportedly in the process of rescinding a series Obama-era guidance letters which suggested on the use of race in college admissions.

The Obama guidance letters, which were published through the Department of Education, advised colleges they could “voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity.” The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is scrapping that type of guidance letter to advance a “race-blind” admissions standard.

A Law&Crime review of guidance letters on the Department of Education’s main Web site revealed no official rescission of the Obama-era policies as discussed by the Times.

Before Obama took office, the directives of the George W. Bush administration asked “the education community to develop innovative ways to achieve diversity in our schools without falling back upon illegal quotas.” Those directives suggested “race-neutral means to achieve diversity in educational institutions.”

The Times says that once the Obama-era guidance regulations are revoked, the official policy of the administration will be the same as the policy of the Bush administration. That’s unless the Trump administration issues its own directive, which has not been common practice.

The Times also points out that these guidance letters really don’t mean very much in the long haul:  “[t]he new policy would not have the force of law, but it amounts to the official view of the federal government.”

The Supreme Court has consistently knocked down racial quotas, but has ruled that race can be used in admissions programs.


[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.]

Aaron Keller is an attorney licensed in two states. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. During law school, he completed legal residencies in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and in a local prosecutor’s office. He was employed as a summer associate in the New Hampshire Department of Safety, which manages the state police, and further served as a summer law clerk for a New York trial judge. Before law school, Keller worked for television stations in New York and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter. His original reporting on the Wisconsin murder of Teresa Halbach was years later featured in the Netflix film "Making A Murderer."

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