U.S. drops lawsuit over Yale admissions as Supreme Courtroom looms By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Old campus at Yale University in New Haven
By Jonathan Stempel and Nate Raymond
(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its lawsuit, accusing Yale University of discriminating against Asian and white applicants in admitting students as the positive action debate in higher education suggests a possible showdown in the Supreme Court.
Wednesday’s voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit, filed by the Trump administration, followed a November 12 ruling by a federal appeals court that Harvard University’s use of the breed in admitting students was in compliance with federal citizenship law.
In a letter to Yale’s attorney, Gregory Friel, assistant assistant attorney general for civil rights, said the Justice Department had dropped the Yale case “given all available facts, circumstances and legal developments,” including the Harvard case.
He said the department now under the administration of Biden will look into the matter as part of its administrative process.
University President Peter Salovey welcomed the decision in a letter to the Yale community. He said Yale is committed to an academic environment “that is built on a variety of strengths and backgrounds,” and is confident that its admission process “is fully in line with decades of Supreme Court rulings.”
The Ivy League school has been charged with violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The policy made Asian Americans and whites as likely as one-eighth to one-fourth to be allowed in as comparable blacks.
Yale, based in New Haven, Connecticut, was sued in October as part of efforts by Republican President Donald Trump to take positive action against elite university admissions.
Democrat Joe Biden is now president and is likely to be more supportive of efforts to promote diversity in schools than Trump.
Legal experts believe the Conservative 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court could use the Harvard lawsuit, accusing the school of discriminating against Asian-American applicants, to end 43 years of racial admission used for higher education.
This lawsuit was filed by students for fair admissions with the assistance of Trump.
Edward Blum, the group’s president, said it was planning to sue Yale “in the coming days” over its regulatory practices.
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