Administration

Congressional Black Caucus: Our worst fears of Sessions are becoming reality

Greg Nash

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) said Wednesday that its worst fears about Attorney General Jeff Sessions are becoming reality.

In a scathing statement Wednesday afternoon, CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said the department is expanding its current assault on communities of color with its plan, as reported by The New York Times, to investigate affirmative action admission policies at universities that discriminate against white students.

“Instead of standing up for himself to a president who called him ‘very weak’ and ‘beleaguered,’ Attorney General Sessions has chosen to pick on minority students who are in pursuit of a college education, opportunity and the American Dream,” Richmond said, referring to President Trump’s recent criticisms of the nation’s top cop.

{mosads}“In doing so, he’s appealing to the lowest common denominator in our country, people who wrongly believe that minority students who benefit from efforts to promote diversity and equality are ignorant, undeserving and unqualified.”

The New York Times reported Tuesday night that it had obtained an internal announcement to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division looking for lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The news reports sparked outrage amongst civil rights groups.

Late Wednesday, Richmond accused Sessions of relitigating the United States Supreme Court case last year that upheld affirmative action policies at the University of Texas at Austin in which the court said race could be considered along with merit-based criteria in admissions decisions.

“Now, Attorney General Sessions wants to turn back the clock to the darker days in our history when minority students couldn’t get into the schools of their choice because of racist admissions practices,” he said.

In a statement earlier in the day Wednesday, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official said the document was a “personnel posting” and “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 official said.

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