Justice Department Sues Yale University for Illegal Discrimination Practices in Undergraduate Admissions

(Excerpts from the DOG Justice News)

  • The Justice Department today filed suit against Yale University for race and national origin discrimination. The complaint alleges that Yale discriminated against applicants to Yale College on the grounds of race and national origin, and that Yale’s discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular most Asian and White applicants.
  • The department’s complaint alleges that Yale’s race and national origin discrimination violate Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit is the result of a multi-year investigation into allegations of illegal discrimination contained in a complaint filed by Asian American groups concerning Yale’s conduct.
  • As a condition of receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, Yale expressly agrees to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a cornerstone civil-rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.  According to the complaint, Yale receives over $600 million annually in federal funds.
  • Although the Supreme Court has held that colleges receiving federal funds may consider applicants’ race in certain limited circumstances as one of a number of factors, the Department of Justice found Yale’s use of race is anything but limited. Yale uses race at multiple steps of its admissions process resulting in a multiplied effect of race on an applicant’s likelihood of admission. And Yale racially balances its classes.
  • Yale refused to agree to the Department of Justice’s demand that Yale refrain from using race or national origin in its current 2020-2021 undergraduate admissions cycle. Yale also failed or refused ever to end its use of race in admissions, and Yale declined even to propose any changes to its pervasive use of race. The department therefore notified Yale that efforts at voluntary compliance had failed and filed suit.