Jeff Sessions’s Department of Justice is reportedly ramping up pressure on colleges who continue to use affirmative action in their admissions processes. If administrators continue to pick students based on the color of their skin, as opposed to considerations like test scores, they can now expect a lawsuit, according to an internal memo obtained by The New York Times.
In the memo, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced it was looking for lawyers interested in working on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
Critics include some DOJ staff who refuse to work on the project because it is “contrary to the office’s long-running approach to civil rights in education opportunities,” The Washington Post reports.
Civil rights groups are also chiming in. Lambda Legal, an LGBT civil rights group, called the announcement a “new low” for the DOJ.
“Instead of bolstering and strengthening education and opportunity, this administration has used education as a vehicle to advance discrimination — first by targeting transgender students through the Dept. of Education, and now by targeting People of Color through the Dept. of Justice,” Tiven said.
Sessions, Tiven added, is determined to “sully the reputation” of the Department of Justice.
Others like American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Program Director Dennis Parker defended affirmative action as a necessary, “inclusive” policy.
The DOJ has not responded to the affirmative action report, noting it is a "personnel issue."