On Tuesday, the Justice Department rescinded seven guidelines from the Education Department’s civil rights division in their latest attempt to reverse Obama-era policy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the Justice Department to re-evaluate any policies that pushed them to “act beyond what the law, the Constitution and the Supreme Court required,” the New York Times reported.
In 2011, the Obama administration released policy guidance documents outlining ways to “achieve diversity and avoid racial isolation” in primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools, reversing the race-blind policies from the prior administration. They also withdrew the Bush administration’s policy guidelines regarding affirmative action, but the document has since been replaced and archived on the Education Department’s website.
The Trump administration appears to be reverting back to Bush-era education policy as they encourage school superintendents and university presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards.
This reversal comes at a crucial time, as Harvard University faces a lawsuit over whether the school has capped admissions for Asian-American applicants. Meanwhile, the president is evaluating nominees to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the decision to uphold the University of Texas’s affirmative action program in 2016.