Justice Department denies ‘personnel posting’ reflects new policy on affirmative action

Posted on: August 2nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department is working on a new directive to pursue inquiries and lawsuits against colleges they determine have engaged in discrimination “against white applicants,” according to an internal document obtained by the New York Times.

The Times’ story, published on Tuesday, cites an “internal announcement to the civil rights division” seeking attorneys to work on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The Department of Justice pushed back, in part, on that report Wednesday, explaining that the job posting that prompted the story “does not reflect a new policy,” although the DOJ did not dispute the essence of the original report.

In response to the Times’ story, a Justice Department official told ABC News: “This was a personnel posting; it does not reflect a new policy or program or any changes to longstanding DOJ policy. Whenever there’s a credible allegation of discrimination on the basis of race, the department will look into it.”

The American Civil Liberties Union reacted to the report in a statement, saying such action would “mark an alarming shift in direction that threatens the hard-fought progress made by civil rights advocates and the department itself over the past decades.”

While the Justice Department said the announcement does not represent a new program or policy, it would not comment on whether there will be a renewed focus on allegations of discrimination in the college admissions process.

The department further declined to answer whether the cases that will be handled by the new job posting will primarily involve white students.

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