DOJ: Affirmative Action Investigation Limited to One Case Involving Asian-Americans

August 3, 2017

An internal Justice Department posting seeking lawyers for “investigations and possible litigation" relating to university affirmative action policies was a call for volunteers to work on a single complaint filed by Asian-American groups accusing Harvard University of racial bias in admissions, not a sweeping policy change, a department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The internal document, described in a New York Times report on Tuesday evening, set off a torrent of speculation — and concern from many civil rights and higher education groups — that the Trump administration was preparing to sue universities over their affirmative action policies.

“The posting sought volunteers to investigate one administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian Americans in a university’s admissions policy and practices.”

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