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Report: Justice Department Plans to Investigate Collegesā€™ Affirmative Action Admission Policies

The Trump administration plans to have the U.S. Department of Justiceā€™s civil rights division investigate and sue colleges and universities for their affirmative action admissions policies, according to the New York Times.

Citing a Justice Department internal memo, the Times reported Tuesday night that the program would be run out of the civil-rights divisionā€™s front office and is seeking lawyers who would be tasked with rooting out ā€œintentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.ā€ The front office is overseen by Trump administration political appointees, not career employees.

The new plan would be the latest in a string of reversals of Justice Department policies implemented under the Obama administration that had focused on police reform and protecting voting rights and gay rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court ā€” most notably last year in Fisher v. University of Texas ā€” has ruled that universities may use affirmative action admissions policies, essentially saying that the institutions can continue to consider race as one factor among many in ensuring a diverse student body. Critics have argued that affirmative action policies sometimes go too far and end up discriminating against White and Asian-American applicants.

The Justice Department has declined to comment on the new initiative.

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