Justice Department rescinds 24 Obama-era regulations

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One en route to Bedminster New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews Maryland U.S

The Trump administration will argue that the recommendations outlined during Obama's term go beyond legal limits and that guidelines provided to schools for boosting minority students are legally misleading, the Journal reported.

The New York Times also confirmed the administration's efforts to encourage race-blind admissions standards.

The next Supreme Court justice could have a major impact on the future of affirmative action.

The rollback of guidelines comes as Harvard University is being sued over its admissions practices by a group claiming it discriminates against Asian-American applicants. But the opinion's author, Anthony Kennedy, announced his retirement last week, giving President Donald Trump a chance to replace him with a justice who will be more reliably skeptical of admissions programs that take race and ethnicity into account.

The 2011 guidance sought to help school districts thread the needle when using race or other factors in enrollment policies. "This most recent decision by the Department of Education is wholly consistent with the administration's unwavering hostility towards diversity in our schools".

MJ: What does the administration's decision mean for colleges and universities following the Obama-era guidance? For example, one of the guidances, "Question and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin", poses the question "Did the Supreme Court change what colleges and universities must do to narrowly tailor their admissions programs to meet the compelling interest in diversity?"

The Justice Department should also weigh in on and support the lawsuit Asian Americans have brought against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill regarding discrimination in college admissions, he added.

On Tuesday, Harvard and other universities were defiant in defending their admissions policies as legal.

"When issuing regulations, federal agencies must abide by constitutional principles and follow the rules set forth by Congress and the President", Mr. Sessions said in a statement.

The Supreme Court set the precedent that allowed for affirmative action in college admission decisions in 1978 and reaffirmed that precedent in 2003, 2013 and 2016. We've seen again and again the Supreme Court come out and say that there are permissible ways for schools to be able to promote diversity and prevent racial isolations. The US Supreme Court has upheld the use of race as a factor in admissions policies, as long as colleges can show that other methods alone cannot achieve diversity.

The studies were filed in Boston's federal court as both sides attempted to persuade a judge to end the suit before it reaches trial, which has been scheduled to start in October. In 2007, the high court sharply limited how school districts could use race in enrollment.The ruling struck down race-based policies in Seattle and Louisville. The Trump administration signaled Tuesday that it planned to reinstate the Bush philosophy. The guidelines were among 24 policy documents revoked yesterday by the Justice Department for being "unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper".

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