ACE, Yale Decry Department of Justice Lawsuit Claiming Yale Admissions Practices Violate Federal Civil Rights Law
October 09, 2020

​The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that Yale University is not following the dictates of the U.S. Supreme Court in carrying out its race-conscious admissions policy.

Yale quickly and forcefully responded that the allegations are baseless, just as it did when the Justice Department sent Yale a letter in August saying that the university “must agree not to use race or national origin in its upcoming 2020-2021 undergraduate admissions cycle,” or else it would be sued by the U.S. government.

“Over the last few weeks, Yale has provided DOJ with information showing that this allegation is based on inaccurate statistics and unfounded conclusions, such as DOJ’s claim that the proportion of various racial groups admitted to Yale has remained stable for many years,” Yale President Peter Salovey wrote in a message to the Yale community last night. “In fact, in the last two decades, the percentage of admitted applicants fluctuated significantly for all groups. Despite our efforts to correct these misconceptions and the fact that Yale’s undergraduate admissions practices are perfectly consistent with decades of Supreme Court precedent, tonight DOJ filed a lawsuit against our university.”

ACE President Ted Mitchell said in a statement Thursday night that, “It is profoundly disturbing that the Department of Justice has launched such an unprecedented judicial attack on one of the nation’s great universities—and by extension all of American higher education. In an era when it takes a lot for news to surprise anyone, the Justice Department’s politically motivated lawsuit is shocking and disheartening.

Mitchell added that with the lawsuit, “the Justice Department has unapologetically aligned with the repeated, failed attempts by misguided advocacy groups to prevent colleges and universities from considering race as one factor in a holistic admissions review, despite four decades of U.S. Supreme Court precedent upholding the principle that institutions have a compelling interest in student body diversity.”

To see Mitchell’s full statement click here. For more on this, also see stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post.