The Trump administration is doing away with a series of affirmative-action policy documents put in place under former President Barack Obama that encourage colleges and universities to use race in admissions processes to promote campus diversity.
The guidelines, implemented under Obama between 2010 and 2016, put forth legal recommendations that officials in the Trump White House say “mislead schools to believe that legal forms of affirmative action are simpler to achieve than the law allows,” according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration contends that the Obama-era guidelines go far beyond what the Supreme Court has decided on in regard to affirmative action. The court has ruled that colleges and universities can use affirmative action to help minority students get into school, but conservatives over the years have argued that these programs hurt the chances of white and Asian-American applicants.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited “improper rulemaking.” He said, “The American people deserve to have their voices heard and a government that is accountable to them. When issuing regulations, federal agencies must abide by constitutional principles and follow the rules set forth by Congress and the President. In previous administrations, however, agencies often tried to impose new rules on the American people without any public notice or comment period, simply by sending a letter or posting a guidance document on a website. That’s wrong, and it’s not good government.”