A rollback to 'race neutral' while court fights loom

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

high school graduationAn organization of black conservatives is praising the Trump administration for taking a race-neutral stance on college admissions.

"I believe President Trump is wise to rescind the aggressive Obama-era affirmative action directive for the use of race in ethnicity and student admissions," says longtime educator Dr. Carol Swain, who is also a spokeswoman for Project 21.

In a joint statement, the Dept. of Education and Dept. of Justice announced July 3 they were rescinding the Obama-era policy guidelines that "circumvent Congress and the courts" by creating guidance that goes beyond current federal laws, The New York Times unhappily reported.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined what policies are constitutional – and its decisions are the best guide over the issue.

Swain

The story recalled that the Obama administration issued "policy guidance" in 2011 that claimed the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled there are "compelling interests" to achieve diversity in college admissions, and in elementary and secondary schools.

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, which found that affirmative-action measures are acceptable for the goal of diversity. Abigail Noel Fischer was denied admission to the school in 2008 and sued, claiming she was turned down because her race, white, was considered along with grades and leadership experience.

Cooper

Referring to legal fights over raced-based admissions, Project 21 spokesman Horace Cooper says the Supreme Court has never ruled that affirmative action should be a "generic remediation tool for all past racial injustice."

Swain, a former professor at Vanderbilt University, says the Obama-era guidelines resulted in "blatant discrimination" against "non-protected races," including Asians seeking admittance. 

A legal battle is under way at Harvard, in fact, where the prestigious university has admitted it excluded Asian-American student applicants to maintain those slots for other preferred races. Those excluded students have sued and legal analysts expect that case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

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