DOJ Confirms Harvard Affirmative Action Investigation

On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed in a letter on that it had opened an investigation into Harvard University’s affirmative action program.

The letter came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request jointly submitted by American Oversight and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on September 1st seeking information regarding reports that DOJ had initiated an investigation into Harvard’s admissions procedures.

DOJ separately confirmed the investigation to American Oversight on Wednesday afternoon.

Statement from Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight:

“This is further proof that Attorney General Sessions and the Trump administration will continue to invoke civil rights only to further their own political agenda – not to provide equal protections for all Americans. It speaks volumes that Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department is prioritizing attacking affirmative action at a time when white nationalists are marching openly in the streets.”

Statement from Kristen Clarke, President & Executive Director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

“Through our FOIA request, it is now confirmed that the Department of Justice has launched an unprecedented assault on efforts to promote racial diversity in higher education.  This is a deeply troubling revelation that potentially threatens to undermine the educational opportunities of African Americans, Latinos and other racial minorities.  It is truly shameful to see this Justice Department forging ahead with a baseless investigation into race-conscious admissions policies at our nation’s colleges and universities.

“This matter deserves further scrutiny by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will vote this week on the nomination of Eric Dreiband to lead the Civil Rights Division.  The fact that Mr. Dreiband failed to separate himself from or condemn the politically-charged investigations into affirmative action policies at colleges and universities makes his nomination even more concerning in light of this new information regarding the Department’s efforts.”

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