The Trump Administration is planning to reverse an Obama-era initiative on race guidelines that ensured diversity in schools, CNN reported.
The decision reportedly does not change the current laws on affirmative action. However, it clearly paints a picture of how the administration can take on issues that are already developed since the recent departure of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“The executive branch cannot circumvent Congress or the courts by creating guidance that goes beyond the law and — in some instances — stays on the books for decades,” Justice Department spokesperson Devin O’Malley told CNN.
“Last year, the Attorney General initiated a review of guidance documents, which resulted in dozens of examples — including today’s second tranche of rescissions — of documents that go beyond or are inconsistent with the Constitution and federal law,” O’Malley said. “The Justice Department remains committed to enforcing the law and protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination.”
It is important to note that last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he was going to stop the Justice Department from providing “guidance documents” that make new governmental requirements. As a result of that, 25 documents were repealed last December.
According to CNN, the guidance will be reversed today on Tuesday but will not affect the rules that school adopt on their own.
“The guidance that will be reversed Tuesday provided examples of different educational contexts within which institutions could permissibly consider race,” CNN said. “Tuesday’s reversal also does not affect what a school decides to do on its own within the confines of current Supreme Court precedent…”
Civil rights groups across that nation responded with disapproval and disappointment.
“We condemn the Department of Education’s politically motivated attack on affirmative action and deliberate attempt to discourage colleges and universities from pursuing racial diversity at our nation’s colleges and universities,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“The rescission of this guidance does not overrule forty years of precedent that affirms the constitutionality of a university’s limited use of race in college admissions. This most recent decision by the Department of Education is wholly consistent with the administration’s unwavering hostility towards diversity in our schools,” Clarke added.
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