The Justice Department has dropped a high-profile discrimination lawsuit against Yale University that was brought by the Trump administration. The DOJ previously filed a lawsuit against Yale over claims that the university’s admissions office unlawfully discriminated against Asian and white applicants. The DOJ’s reversal comes just after President Joe Biden signed an executive order “condemning and combatting racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans.”
The Justice Department notified a federal judge on Wednesday that the suit was dropped, according to a report by NBC News., which added that a two-sentence filing in U.S. District Court in Connecticut gave notice of the government’s “voluntary dismissal of this action.”
Yale said it was pleased by the decision to drop the lawsuit. “Our admissions process has allowed Yale College to assemble an unparalleled student body, which is distinguished by its academic excellence and diversity,” said Yale in a statement. “Yale has steadfastly maintained that its process complies fully with Supreme Court precedent, and we are confident that the Justice Department will agree.”
The DOJ had filed a lawsuit against Yale over charges that the university’s admissions office unlawfully discriminates against Asian and white applicants.
While Yale is a private university, it can nonetheless be subjected to a provision of civil rights law that bans discrimination based of race, color, national origin, and other factors, given that it receives millions of dollars in federal funds.
Yale receives about $600 million in federal funding each year and holds an endowment of $30 billion. The DOJ believed that race is the “determinative factor” in hundreds of admission decisions each year.
The department had begun an investigation into discriminatory practices at Yale in August of last year. The investigation followed a lawsuit filed against Harvard University over allegations that they, too, discriminated against Asian-American applicants during the admissions process.
In his second week in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order “condemning and combatting racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”
Now, in a Biden administration reversal, the discrimination lawsuit filed against Yale involving Asian-American applicants has been dropped.