Trump administration moves to rescind Obama-era guidance on race in admissions

The Trump administration is moving to rescind Obama-era guidance to colleges and universities on how they can use race in admissions decisions to promote diversity, according to an administration official.

The action, expected Tuesday afternoon, is likely to signal a push to emphasize admissions that are race-blind. The Supreme Court has upheld race-conscious admission practices as recently as 2016, but affirmative action in higher education remains a contentious issue.

In 2011 and 2016, the Obama administration’s Justice and Education departments jointly spelled out for colleges their view of the law on the voluntary use of race in admissions.

The 2011 statement said the departments “recognize the compelling interest that postsecondary institutions have in obtaining the benefits that flow from achieving a diverse student body.” It went on to assert that schools have flexibility “to take proactive steps, in a manner consistent with principles articulated in Supreme Court opinions, to meet this compelling interest.”

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