Trump administration rescinds Obama-era guidance on race and college admissions

Michelle Hackman covers education policy for the Wall Street Journal and broke this story earlier today she joins me now from Minneapolis Michelle thanks for being with us. What argument does the Trump Administration use to explain these guidelines that were set forth by the Obama Administration believes that these Obama guidelines go beyond what really is in Supreme Court precedent so we know that in 2016 the Supreme Court race rule that races permissible as long as it’s sort of University’s Last Resort and its use very narrowly but the Trump Administration feels like the weight of the Obama Administration wrote These guidelines encourage to go as far as I possibly can to use raise and in that way goes beyond what the law really says and so then what was President Obama and his administration what were they hoping to achieve when these guidelines were initiated back in 2011 and again in 2016 Administration really believe very firmly in the benefits of of diversity in educational settings both at universities and in you know k12 and Elementary secondary schools and so what they think they say that they tried to do was take the existing case law and and use that to sort of tell School here’s a way for you to use affirmative action that is within the law that won’t get you in any trouble Michelle this decision comes at an interesting time for higher education of course Harvard University is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit from 2014 claiming that the university discriminates against asian-americans by holding them the higher admission standards in November of 2017 our own Paula Reed asked attorney general Jeff sessions about this case let’s take a listen you’re your civil rights division is investigating Harvard University for possible civil rights relations related to affirmative action possibly discriminate against asian-americans and white students why is this a priority for your department ask about Alabama he’s able to ask about Sanctuary cities why can’t I ask you about this it seems Jeff sessions was not too eager to answer the question why do you think that this is a priority for the current justice department and how is the harborage impacting the administration’s decision to rescind President Obama’s policy should be using blind policy should be giving everyone opportunity admissions the person leading the Harvard case is it is sort of pushing that that argument he’s saying that the university in some ways has set of floor for the number of minority students but they’re willing to admit and then in that way disadvantaging Asian students know the Trump Administration for that reason has taken an interest in the Harvard case they think it’s high-profile they think it makes a good point and so in addition to opening an investigation into Harvard they actually filed a statement of Interest which is basically a way for the administration to say we have a vested interest in how this the case goes universities / discriminatory admissions from the perspective of the government and how do you expect universities to respond will the timing of this act today is is pretty likely in response to the fact that the next filing date in the Harvard lawsuit is later this month in the end of July and some were expecting the Trump Administration will likely file some other kind of brief in the case but you know that they’re deeply interested I think they think that this is a case that could go to the Supreme Court and now especially with the Trump Administration able to pick a new Supreme Court Justice you might have different views on affirmative action you know Anthony Kennedy in favor of affirmative action in 2016 the Trump Administration feel like this is a way for them really to influence policy so how do you think universities are going to respond strongly defended it’s Youssef race they say that it’s really important to you know creating a vibrant culture on campus and in general universities don’t like being told by the government what they can and can’t do as long as you know it’s clear legal lions are set I think that they feel affronted by being told that they can’t use this tool in their Arsenal to achieve something that they do want to achieve that’s correct but they do get funding from the federal government so they the government has some sway over them very very interesting to see how this all plays out Michelle halfmann thank you so much for your Insight thank you
The Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era policy that encouraged universities to consider race when accepting students. The policy was set forth in order to promote diversity on college campuses, but the Trump administration suggests institutions should use “race-blind admission standards.” Michelle Hackman, education reporter at the Wall Street Journal, joined CBSN with the latest on the decision.

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