Among its many left-wing policy actions, the Biden administration dropped a racial discrimination lawsuit against Yale University last month. This action spurred The Students for Fair Admission (SFFA) group to file a complaint that Yale University violated the Civil Rights Act in its admission policies by racially discriminating against Asian-American applicants.
Filed in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut, SFA claimed Yale specifically violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act which banned race-based discrimination practices at federally-funded academic institutions. With the Department of Justice reversing its decision due to presidential administration changes, SFFA has to fill the void left by the Biden administration.
Under the Trump administration, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Yale in October 2020 on the grounds that the university had used race as a major factor in their admissions process. Their interpretation of the Civil Right Act was that Yale allegedly boosted the admissions prospects of racial minority groups, such as blacks and Hispanics. At the time, the DOJ said that Yale’s data demonstrated that “Asian American applicants have a much lower chance of admission… even when those Asian Americans have much higher academic qualifications and comparable ratings by Yale’s admissions officers.” The department also noted that Asian American applicants were admitted to Yale at a rate “below their proportion of the applicant pool.”
Yale University said it “categorically denies this allegation” of racial discrimination.
Another Ivy League institution, Harvard University, is facing a similar lawsuit in court.
Affirmative action and racial discrimination mean different things to conservatives and liberals. To the Biden administration, affirmative action protects minorities from discrimination, while conservatives contend that affirmative action is a form of racial discrimination against whites and Asian Americans.
Affirmative action has been a rallying cry of the Left since its inception in 1964 and was co-opted by activists to exclude certain races and ethnicities while boosting minorities. It has been a contentious policy in the past several decades, with several high-profile lawsuits involving the likes of the University of Texas, Harvard University, and the aforementioned case against Yale.