Politics: The Justice Department threw its hat into a bitter fight over Harvard's admission practices, and now the ACLU is getting involved

Harvard University

Trump's DOJ backed a lawsuit filed against Harvard University claiming that the school discriminated against Asian Americans. The move signals the Trump's administration's commitment to reversing Obama-era policies asking universities to consider affirmative action to enhance diversity on campuses.

  • The Department of Justice indicated that it supports a group of Asian American students who sued Harvard University over its admissions practices.
  • The lawsuit alleges that a component of Harvard's admissions process that takes into consideration an applicant's ethnic background unfairly sidelines Asian students. Harvard has denied that claim.
  • The DOJ has previously made clear its objections to affirmative-action practices on college campuses.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union called the DOJ's latest move an attempt to "dismantle progress in racial equity."

The Department of Justice indicated that it supports a group of Asian American students who sued Harvard University over its admissions practices.

The lawsuit alleges that a component of Harvard's admissions process that takes into consideration an applicant's ethnic background unfairly sidelines Asian students. Harvard has denied the claim.

The school says its consideration of an applicant's heritage is part of a holistic approach to application reviews, but says it does not employ racial quotas.

The DOJ has previously made clear its objections to affirmative-action practices on college campuses.

The American Civil Liberties Union rushed to Harvard’s defense on Thursday, calling the DOJ's interjection an attempt to "dismantle progress in racial equity."

“The Trump administration has advocated for “race-blind” policies, which Harvard and virtually all other universities have found are demonstrably insufficient to achieve meaningful diversity, given the reality of historic and continuing racial discrimination in this country,” the ACLU said in a press release sent out on Thursday.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2014, is set to go to trial in October.

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