After complaints from Asian-American groups, the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Yale University for discriminating against applicants based on race.
The suit alleges that Yale violated federal civil rights laws for the last 50 years. The suit also says the university uses an “oversized, standardless, intentional use of race” to favor black and Hispanic students over whites and Asians.
DOJ alleges that Yale University’s practices place “undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular most Asian and White applicants,” according to a press release.
“Instead of using race in a narrow, time-limited, and targeted manner to achieve specific and defined educational goals, Yale has institutionalized its use of racial preferences as a permanent feature of its admissions process and decisions,” the complaint said.
There are hundreds of schools that give a wink and a nod in the law’s direction in order to favor black and Hispanic candidates for admissions. They don’t use race as the sole determinant in choosing students, they say. Indeed, as long as their policies conform to the statutes, they believe they’re in the clear.
But the evidence is clearer.
The lawsuit comes after the department conducted a two-year investigation following a challenge from Asian American groups of the university’s admissions process. DOJ claims that Asian American and white students have one-eighth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American students “with comparable academic credentials.”
It’s a clear quota system giving advantages to applicants based on their race or national origin. The false pretenses colleges use to avoid legal trouble will not hold up to scrutiny.
Yale University President Peter Salovey defended the college, saying the use of race is “one element in a multi-stage examination” of an applicant in an effort to diversify the student body, according to a statement obtained by The Hill.
“Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity. Our admissions practices are completely fair and lawful,” he said. “Yale’s admissions policies will not change as a result of the filing of this baseless lawsuit. We look forward to defending these policies in court.”
The Supreme Court has ruled that race can be used as one factor in determining admissions but has explicitly forbidden the kind of race-based admission policies that have made a mockery of the law. The arrogant college administrators who hide behind the nebulous language in the law while creating policies that violate it with impunity are put on notice. They can lose federal funding unless they change.
That’s what the Yale lawsuit is all about. The Justice Department is making an example of a high-profile college to issue a clear warning to other schools: Change your policies or risk a lawsuit.