Trump's DOJ Threatens To Sue Harvard Over Affirmative Action Policies
The Justice Department cited a 2015 lawsuit alleging the university discriminates against Asian-American applicants.
Scott Malone, Nate Raymond
BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has threatened to sue Harvard University to force it to turn over documents as it investigates whether the Ivy League school’s admission policies violate civil rights laws by discriminating against Asian-American applicants.
The Justice Department cited a 2015 lawsuit that charges Harvard’s affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian-American applicants, in a letter setting a Dec. 1 deadline for Harvard to hand over documents on its admission policies.
The Justice Department is probing the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based school’s compliance with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to the letter, dated Friday and seen by Reuters. The measure prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating based on race, color or national origin.
The squabble follows reports that the Justice Department had begun an investigation into whether university affirmative action admission policies broadly discriminate against white applicants.
“The Department is left with no choice but to conclude that Harvard is out of compliance with its Title VI access obligations,” the letter reads.
Attorneys for Harvard in an Oct. 6 letter to the Justice Department seen by Reuters questioned the timing of the probe.