Leak: Trump Administration to Investigate Colleges for Discriminating Against White Applicants

The New York Times reports that the Department of Justice is planning a blitz against university affirmative action.

Bastiaan Slabbers/ZUMA Press

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

The Justice Department plans to investigate colleges and universities whose admissions policies discriminate against white applicants, according to an internal memo revealed by the New York Times Tuesday

The initiative, which will reportedly be overseen by a DOJ Civil Rights Division heavy with Trump appointees, would be charged with hiring attorneys to explore “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions,” the Times reported.

The project’s reveal prompted immediate concern from civil rights advocates, with Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law calling the action “deeply disturbing.”

“It would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities who may fear that the government may come down on them for their efforts to maintain diversity on their campuses,” Clarke told the Times.

This would mark only the latest disturbing reversal in how the federal government interprets civil rights law since Jeff Sessions became Attorney General. Last week, DOJ lawyers argued that federal civil rights law did not, in fact, apply to “discrimination based on sexual orientation.” 

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate