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 complaint also alleges that Yale injures applicants and students because Yale’s race discrimination relies upon and reinforces damaging race-based stereotypes, including in particular such stereotypes against Yale’s racially-favored applicants. And, the complaint alleges that Yale engages in racial balancing by, among other things, keeping the annual percentage of African-American admitted applicants to within one percentage point of the previous year’s admitted class as reflected in U.S. Department of Education data. The complaint alleges similar racial balancing about Asian-American 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.
“Illegal race discrimination by colleges and universities must end,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division. “This nation’s highest ideals include the notion that we are all equal under the law. For centuries, people from all over the world have learned of this ideal, left their ancestral homes, and come to the United States hoping that this country would live up to its ideals and that they and their families could enjoy equal opportunity and pursue the American dream. Countless Americans have pursued their dreams through higher education, and they continue to do so. All persons who apply for admission to colleges and universities should expect and know that they will be judged by their character, talents, and achievements and not the color of their skin. To do otherwise is to permit our institutions to foster stereotypes, bitterness, and division.”
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.