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affirmative action

Attorney General Jeff Sessions attends a meeting on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

The Trump administration wants to investigate discrimination against Asian-American college applicants. The Justice Department is reopening an investigation into a complaint that was filed against Harvard accusing the Ivy League school of racial discrimination in its admissions practices.

Reaction to a report that the Trump administration plans to pursue complaints that college admissions discriminate against whites ranges from shock to delight.

Pointed questions, impatient follow-ups and testy retorts rang through the Supreme Court Wednesday as the future of affirmative action in college admissions was debated with intensity.

A survey of four-year nonprofit colleges shows 90 percent of admissions officers are carefully watching legal challenges to affirmative action, but few are changing their policies.

The U.S. Department of Education is dismissing a claim that Harvard shows bias against Asian-American applicants, because a similar lawsuit has already been filed in federal court.

The Supreme Court will once again take up affirmative action in college admissions. The Court announced Monday it would review whether considering race and ethnicity while building a college class is constitutional.

Affirmative action cases at the Supreme Court have always dealt with some version of the question,"is affirmative action constitutional?" 

However, in the latest case making headlines, that question is flipped on its head. Instead of asking whether affirmative action is allowable under the Constitution, Schuette v. Bamn asks if it's ok that a state ban affirmative action. And the answer is, yes. 

Brandeis University President Frederick Lawrence site in his office beneath a photo of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

A week after the Supreme Court issued a ruling calling for tougher scrutiny of colleges’ race-conscious admissions policies, small liberal arts schools in New England hoping to boost their minority enrollment are worried about potential legal challenges.

Administrators are eagerly waiting to see what happens in the lower courts. Since the Supreme Court decision, schools like Brandeis University have been asking one vital question:

“Is the court really going to make the standard so hard to meet that it becomes almost impossible?” asked Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence.

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