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DOJ withdraws high-profile discrimination suit against Yale University

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew its Trump-era lawsuit Wednesday against Yale University that alleged the Ivy League school was discriminating against white and Asian-American undergraduate applicants and violating federal civil-rights laws in the process.

The two-sentence notice filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut informed the court of the federal government’s “voluntary dismissal of this action.”

“The Justice Department has dismissed its lawsuit in light of all available facts, circumstances, and legal developments,” including a November federal appeals court ruling that Harvard University didn’t break federal civil-rights law, a spokeswoman said Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

After a two-year DOJ investigation, the lawsuit was filed in October and accused the prestigious university of violating civil rights laws for “at least 50 years” by using race-based, affirmative-action practices in its admission process that tipped the scale for Black and Hispanic applicants.

The DOJ’s investigation into Yale’s undergraduate admission policies that started in 2018, it should be noted, is still open. The department’s investigation was launched after a complaint was filed in 2016 by a number of Asian-American groups with the DOJ and Department of Education, notably spearheaded by the Asian American Coalition for Education.

Yale, which has defended its admission practices, was gladdened to hear the DOJ had withdrawn its lawsuit, spokeswoman Karen Peart said, per The Wall Street Journal.

“The Justice Department’s decision in August 2020 to issue the notice of violation unexpectedly and precipitously cut off an exchange of information that Yale looks forward to resuming,” Peart said. “Yale has steadfastly maintained that its process complies fully with Supreme Court precedent, and we are confident that the Justice Department will agree.”

While the U.S. Supreme Court has historically upheld race-based affirmative action, the three new conservative justices added to the court by former President Donald Trump has sowed worry that such admission practices are now in a precarious position.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.

After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.

Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”

“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”

A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”

Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.

In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”

 

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