The Biden Admin Abandons Major Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

John Moore/Getty Images

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
Font Size:

Under President Joe Biden’s new tenure, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped its lawsuit on Wednesday against Yale University that alleged admission-related racial discrimination against Asian-Americans and white prospective students.

The lawsuit came during former President Donald Trump’s time in office and is just the latest reversal by Biden’s administration. The DOJ’s “notice of voluntary dismissal” regarding the lawsuit didn’t cite a specific reason for the decision, according to The New York Times.

“Yale is gratified that the U.S. Justice Department has dropped its lawsuit challenging Yale College’s admissions practices,” Yale University spokeswoman Karen N. Peart said in a statement according to the NYT. “Our admissions process has allowed Yale College to assemble an unparalleled student body, which is distinguished by its academic excellence and diversity.”

The lawsuit cited a lengthy investigation that found Asian-Americans and white students were one-tenth to one-fourth as likely to be admitted as African-American students, according to NBC News. The investigation’s findings suggested Yale violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act as it received millions of dollars in taxpayer funding.

Yale University pushed back on the allegations and the lawsuit when it was filed, saying that if “the department fully received and fairly weighed this information” it “would have concluded that Yale’s practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent.” (RELATED: ‘Intolerable Discrimination’: DOJ Sues Alabama Housing Authority For Segregating White And Black Residents)

The Biden administration’s reversal comes despite other racial discrimination allegations at colleges across the country, as the NYT noted. Fellow Ivy Leaguer Harvard University garnered a win in 2019 regarding similar accusations when a judge declared that it was allowed to use race as a factor for admissions.

The judge did note that Harvard’s admissions process was “not perfect” but asserted that the this should not result in taking apart “a very fine admissions program,” the NYT reported at the time. The DOJ also supported this case, although future support is unclear after its move to drop the Yale lawsuit.

The department said in a statement that “in light of all available facts, circumstances and legal developments,” including the decision regarding Harvard, it decided to withdraw the suit against Yale. It also promised an “underlying investigation” intended to make sure the school complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the NYT wrote.

Despite the Biden administration’s reversal on the Yale discrimination lawsuit, the school could still see trouble. Students for Fair Admission, a group responsible for the Harvard lawsuit, intends to refile the DOJ’s suit against Yale, according to the NYT.

“It is important that this lawsuit continues to be vigorously litigated through the courts during the coming months and years if necessary,” Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admission, said in a statement. “Using race and ethnicity in college admissions decisions is unfair, unconstitutional and is fraying the social fabric that holds our nation together.”

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.