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Senators introduce bill to ban racial discrimination in college admissions

The service academies are put on alert:

(Press Release)  Senator JD Vance (R-OH) and Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN-03) have introduced the College Admissions Accountability Act, which would require universities to respect applicants’ constitutional rights and comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

The legislation would condition eligibility for federal student assistance and institutional aid on universities’ adherence to the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI prohibitions on racial discrimination or racial preferences.

The legislation would also create a Special Inspector General for Unlawful Discrimination in Higher Education to investigate any college admissions department that employs policies or practices violating applicants’ constitutional rights.

Senators Ted Budd (R-NC), Mike Braun (R-IN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) join as original cosponsors in the Senate. Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN-03) is the lead sponsor of companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Every student in America is entitled to equal protection under the law, regardless of their background,” said Senator Vance.

“Yet for decades, America’s higher education cartel has discriminated against applicants and students by adhering to racial preferences under the banner of ‘equity.’”

“The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in SFFA v. Harvard rightly called for an end to these unjust practices. This bill creates the means necessary to enforce the Court’s decision and hold colleges and universities accountable for illegal discrimination on the basis of race.”

“Universities should accept students based on merit and achievement, not the color of their skin. Race based admissions have divided our country further and we must pull the plug on this unjust social engineering once and for all,” said Congressman Banks.

“Senator Vance and my bill would force universities to start respecting basic American principles and to stop discriminating against applicants based on their immutable traits.”

“Students should be considered based on objective merit, not skin color,” said Senator Budd. “Our country and our Constitution embody these values and so should institutions of higher learning. I’m proud to stand with Senator Vance to ensure fairness and opportunity across America’s colleges and universities.”

“Hard work and excellence in the classroom should be rewarded, not disregarded due to immutable characteristics,” said Senator Schmitt. “I’m proud to join Senator Vance on this bill in order to ensure American students are given a fair and equal opportunity when it comes to the college admissions process.”

“Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,” said Senator Rubio.

“The U.S. Supreme Court correctly decided that basing college admissions on applicants’ race is unconstitutional. I’m proud to introduce the College Admissions Accountability Act, which would ensure that colleges admit students based on merit, abide by our country’s constitutional history, and provide equal opportunity to all Americans.”

“Establishing a Special Inspector General is an important step to ensure that colleges actually comply with the Supreme Court’s decision outlawing race-based admissions,” said Senator Hawley. “

Far-left institutions are going to do everything they can to protect their DEI agendas, so oversight will be vital.”

The College Admissions Accountability Act would ensure public accountability by:

  • Establishing an Office of the Special Inspector General for Unlawful Discrimination in Higher Education at the U.S. Department of Education, which would be tasked with investigating allegations that admissions decisions, policies, practices, financial aid determinations, or academic programs violate the Equal Protection Clause or Title IV.
  • Creating a mechanism for applicants and university employees to file allegations against college admissions departments.
  • Recommending corrective actions and penalties for offending institutions, including ineligibility for federal student assistance and institutional aid.
  • Requiring regular reports on allegations as well as corrective actions undertaken by offending institutions.
  • Conditioning student assistance and institutional aid on racial discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Read more from The Washington Free Beacon here.

The College Admissions Accountability Act is endorsed by the National Association of Scholars, The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life, and Citizens for Renewing America.

“The federal government has given the universities free rein to discriminate against white and Asian students,” said Chris Rufo, senior fellow and director of the initiative on critical race theory at the Manhattan Institute.

“Senator Vance’s proposed legislation will put a stop to this.”

“It’s time for the Department of Education to investigate the Ivy League universities for their decades-long embrace of left-wing racialist ideology and unconstitutional discrimination.”

“Vance is showing that he is not in Washington to sit on the sidelines, but to force changes to the institutions that have taught a generation to hate America and the West. As we have seen with the recent support on elite campuses for Hamas terror, this work is essential.”

“The Supreme Court has neither the power of the purse nor of the sword to enforce its judgments, but Congress can indeed put teeth into the justices’ pronouncements,” said Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute.

“The historic SFFA v. Harvard ruling in particular deserves to be enforced zealously so that our nation’s promise of colorblind equality can be realized in our institutions of higher education. A special inspector general focused on this issue would help make that happen.”

“In word and deed, universities have made clear that they intend to bypass the law and discriminate on the basis of race,” added the National Association of Scholars.

“They need to know that their unlawful actions will lead to clear consequences, and this is the great wisdom of the College Admissions Accountability Act.”

“Senator Vance is the only elected official thinking seriously about how to change and rebuild the higher ed cartel, which defrauds decent Americans,” said Arthur Milikh, executive director of The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life. “This is an admirable step in that direction.”

Read the legislation here.

For Background:

  • American colleges and universities have a long track record of rendering special preferences to applicants on the basis of race. In recent weeks, several institutions have issued statements or unveiled new policies which stand at odds with the letter and spirit of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
  • In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the U.S. Supreme Court found race-based admissions policies to be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court further held that “universities may not simply establish through application essays or other means the regime we hold unlawful today.
  • Institutions of higher education, including their offices of admission, must comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States, as interpreted by the judiciary.
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