During the course of the Obama administration we saw any number of instances where the federal government was getting involved with activities on and around the nation’s colleges and universities. Most of them seemed to center on questions as to whether everyone was “woke” enough. (I’m about to jab a pencil in my eye for actually typing that.) There were questions of whether or not schools could have their funding cut over “transgender bathroom rights” and an epidemic of hate crimes which cropped up (many, though not all of which turned out to be hoaxes). Yes, there were many race based and SJW issues to be tackled.
Now, with the new sheriff in town, the Justice Department is getting right back to work looking for inequality in the education system. But this time it’s not the same old inequality you’ve been hearing about for the past eight years. They’re setting up a task force to see if minority preferences in the college admissions process are unfairly shutting out white and Asian students with superior qualifications. Get ready for some heads to begin exploding in three… two… (Reuters)
The U.S. Justice Department is planning to investigate and possibly sue universities over admissions policies that discriminate against white applicants, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing a department document.
The internal memo seeks lawyers in the department’s Civil Rights Division who are interested in working on a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions,” the Times reported.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that universities may use affirmative action admissions policies, which are intended to give minority applicants an edge in getting into college. The court has rejected racial quotas but said race could be used as one factor among many in evaluating an applicant.
Critics of affirmative action say that in some cases it goes too far in discriminating against white and Asian-American applicants.
Frankly, I don’t expect this to go anywhere because anything they do along these lines will immediately be challenged and put on hold while it gets tossed to the courts. And even if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court, they’ve proven over and over again that they simply don’t have the stomach to handle questions such as this. When the Supremes were finally forced to rule on the case coming out of the University of Texas last year they came down 4-3 in favor of continuing affirmative action and that was with Kagan recusing herself. Kennedy sided with the liberals on that one and no doubt would do so again, so they’ve got five votes in the bag.
At the time, Clarence Thomas wrote in the dissent that the decision, “is irreconcilable with strict scrutiny, rests on pernicious assumptions about race, and departs from many of our precedents.” That didn’t matter, however, because the racial preferences were allowed to stand. You can tell that the courts know in their hearts that it’s wrong (indicated by the rejection of racial quotas) but they left intact the ability of colleges to “consider race as one of many factors” without providing even a hint as to what that actually means. In other words, the schools can impose racial quotas if they wish, provided they don’t document the process.
We could sit here and have a discussion about how this country was supposed to be a meritocracy until we’re blue in the face. Accepting the students with the best scores, the most applicable outside activities and the most drive (and doing so in a completely color-blind manner) would seem like the most natural thing in the world. But that was the old world. These days that adds up to racism, even if the “resolution” involves racism in the opposite direction. So with all that said, this will mostly likely be an exercise in futility for the Justice Department.