A federal agency plans to file lawsuits against some colleges and universities over their affirmative action admission policies.
The U.S. Department of Justice plans to use its civil rights division to investigate and possibly sue colleges and universities that have affirmative action admission policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.
On Tuesday, a New York newspaper reported the plans after obtaining a Justice Department document that was sent to its civil rights division. The document said the department wants to hire attorneys willing to examine college and universities to determine if their admission policies are race based.
The proposal drew immediate opposition from affirmative action supporters and praise from those who believe it sometimes slams the door on more qualified white applicants in order to reach racial diversity.
Affirmative action programs began during President Lyndon Johnson's administration. The federal government initiated the programs in conjunction with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and an executive order in 1965. The programs were designed to give minority groups and women better employment and educational opportunities.
Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued rulings supporting affirmative action in some situations and condemn it in others. In a 1996 ruling involving the University of Texas Law School, the court ruled there wasn't a compelling state interest in using race as a factor in admissions decisions.
But in 2003, the high court ruled in a University of Michigan Law School case that affirmative action could be used in its admission policies if race wasn't the preeminent factor in those decisions. In that same ruling, the court struck down Michigan's undergraduate admissions policy that awarded points based on race.
With the affirmative action initiative unfolding in the Justice Department, and despite the on-going resignations and firing of key staff members, President Donald Trump attempted to reassure the American people that his administration is functioning well.
Last week wasn't the best for Trump.
Among other things, he was criticized for delivering and alleged political speech at a Boy Scouts gathering. Plus, in an announcement that surprised almost everyone in Washington, Trump said transgender people won't be allowed to serve in the military.
His Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned over a riff with Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Then, Trump began this week with Scaramucci's ouster.
Those events didn't enhance Trump's efforts to convince the people that his administration is piling up accomplishments and functioning well.
On June 20, rump began his second six months in the White House. In addition to Priebus, Spicer and Scaramucci, several other administrative officials have either been fired, resigned or been reassigned. Those departed include the following:
Michael Flynn, national security adviser; Sally Yates, deputy attorney general; James Comey, FBI director; and Mike Dubke, White House communications director
Yep, in the musical chairs department, the accomplishments are piling up and functioning well.