The Trump administration plans to use resources from the Justice Department civil rights division to investigate and sue universities whose affirmative action admissions policies could be deemed discriminatory against white applicants, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
An internal memo, obtained by the Times, advertised for lawyers within the agency who would be interested in a new initiative that includes “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
Both opponents and supporters of the project agreed that it targets admission programs that give racially disadvantaged minorities like black and Latino students preference over others with higher test scores, according to the Times.
A 2016 Supreme Court decision upheld the right of colleges and universities to use diversity in their admissions criteria.
“Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court’s majority opinion