Affirmative Action in Jeopardy With New DOJ Order and Retirement of Justice Kennedy

The Trump administration is ending Obama-era policies calling on schools and universities to consider race as a factor in admissions, in the latest blow to affirmative action programs. The move doesn’t change the law, but it rescinds guidelines set by the Obama administration to foster diversity in elementary and secondary schools and on college campuses. The move comes as the Trump administration is reportedly planning a challenge to Harvard University’s admissions practices and as President Trump is nearing a decision on a Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was long considered a swing vote on affirmative action. In 2016, Kennedy wrote the majority opinion when the court upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions program. We speak to Dennis Parker, director of the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman. The Trump administration is ending Obama-era policies calling on schools and universities to consider race as a factor in admissions, in the latest blow to affirmative action. The move doesn’t change the law, but it rescinds guidelines set by the Obama administration to foster diversity in elementary and secondary schools and on college campuses.

It comes as the Trump administration is reportedly planning a challenge to Harvard University’s admissions practices and as President Trump is nearing a decision on a Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was long considered a swing vote on affirmative action. In 2016, Kennedy wrote the majority opinion when the court upheld the University of Texas — Austin’s race-conscious admissions program. Kennedy wrote, quote, “It remains an enduring challenge to our nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.”

We’re joined here in New York by Dennis Parker, director…

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