DOJ Investigating Harvard Over Affirmative-Action Policies

DOJ Investigating Harvard Over Affirmative-Action Policies

DOJ Investigating Harvard Over Affirmative-Action Policies

The Supreme Court has ruled universities may use affirmative action with the aim of helping minority applicants get into college.

"Many Asian-American students who have nearly flawless SAT scores, top 1 percent GPAs, plus significant awards or leadership positions in various extracurricular activities have been rejected by Harvard University and other Ivy League Colleges while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted", the complaint read.

In response, Mr. Waxman has raised questions about the Civil Rights Division's authority to pursue the investigation and proposed various limits on how government officials may gain access to the records, citing the privacy of applicants and concerns that the materials might become public.

Previous year the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action in college admissions decisions, saying that race can be one factor in order to promote diversity on campus. The measure prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating based on race, color or national origin.

The DOJ is probing the Cambridge, Mass., school's compliance with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to the letter first reported by Reuters Tuesday, but dated from Friday. The school also said just over half of the freshmen admitted in 2017 were women, more than one-in-five were Asian and nearly 15 percent listed as African-American.

The Justice Department cited a 2015 lawsuit that charges Harvard's affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian-American applicants, in a letter setting a December 1 deadline for Harvard to hand over documents on its admission policies.

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The Justice Department's probe stems from a still-pending federal civil lawsuit filed in 2014 on behalf of a group of Asian-American students alleging Harvard discriminated against them by limiting the number of Asian students into the campus.

"As we have repeatedly made clear to the Department of Justice, the university will certainly comply with its obligations under Title VI", she said.

In a statement to NPR, Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley said it "takes seriously any potential violation of an individual's civil and constitutional rights, but we will not comment at this time". "This investigation is a welcome development". But critics said the ruling was narrow enough that other lawsuits could be filedto challenge affirmative action.

"Harvard's Asian quotas, and the overall racial balancing that follows, have been ignored by our federal agencies for too long", Blum said in a statement.

The DOJ also accused the university of not cooperating with the department's investigation into the school's policies towards admitting students, The WSJ reported after obtaining documents on the matter.

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