WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the National Summit on equal opportunity in higher education and the Biden administration’s attempt to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action.
On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Court held that Harvard had used unconstitutional, discriminatory practices in its admissions process by favoring African American and Hispanic applicants over members of other races. In the ruling, the Court overturned previous Supreme Court rulings that had allowed universities to employ affirmative action programs in their admission processes.
However, President Biden claimed that the Supreme Court was “not a normal court” and that it was unmoored in its efforts to “unravel basic rights and basic decisions,” while Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told CBS that the “decision eliminates a valuable tool that universities have utilized to provide access to students from diverse backgrounds.”
Undaunted by the weight of public opinion supporting the Supreme Court’s decision to restore equal opportunity in college admissions, on July 26, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education hosted the National Summit on Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. Its purpose, as publicly stated, was to “bring together senior Biden-Harris Administration officials and national educational institutions and leaders to discuss innovative strategies and resources for colleges and students … in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action.” Following the summit, the Departments of Education and Justice released, on August 14, 2023, a “Dear Colleague Letter” and a “Questions and Answers resource” to help universities and colleges understand the Supreme Court’s decision and how they could “continue to pursue campuses that are racially diverse.”
Considering the significance of the Supreme Court decision and the precedent set, the Biden Administration’s attacks on the Court and its decision, and the Department of Education’s actions to limit the application of that decision, fulfilling this Freedom of Information Act request is imperative.
Statement from America First Legal Senior Advisor, Ian Prior:
“When it comes to affirmative action, the Biden Administration continues to be on the wrong side of the American public and the Constitution. America First Legal is absolutely committed to ensuring that equal opportunity, not equity, is the standard that our institutions of higher learning adhere to, and we will continue to hold the Department of Education accountable to that core principle,” said Ian Prior.
Read the FOIA here.
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