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The Trump administration is reportedly floating the possibility of investigating affirmative-action practices on college campuses, according to a New York Times report citing internal documents from the US Justice Department’s civil rights division.
That arm of the DOJ is reportedly seeking lawyers who would be tasked with investigating, and possibly suing, higher-education institutions over alleged “intentional race-based discrimination.”
The program, if implemented, would be run out of the civil-rights division’s front office, The Times’ report said, meaning it would be overseen by Trump’s political appointees, not the division’s career employees.
The document cited by the newspaper does not specify which ethnic groups the Trump administration sees as being subject to a disadvantage in college admissions as a result of affirmative action. However, some critics view it as potentially targeting so-called reverse discrimination against white applicants, a matter that has gained some notoriety in recent years.
The proposed program is loaded with potential blowback, partly because the Trump administration has called into question a number of civil-rights-related matters since President Donald Trump took office – including Obama-era efforts to increase oversight of police departments nationally, and increased protections for LGBTQ people.