Justice Dept. Investigates Admissions Practices at Harvard, BuzzFeed News Reports

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating admission practices at Harvard University, BuzzFeed News reports.

In August news broke that the Justice Department was investigating a discrimination complaint over race-conscious admission practices at a university. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request about the case by a government-watchdog group, the department wrote on September 29 that it was exempt from providing the records because doing so could “interfere with enforcement proceedings,” which BuzzFeed then reported.

The request sought records of investigations at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The department responded that it had not found records about UNC, but it shielded Harvard’s records.

A department spokeswoman said in a statement issued in August that the agency was investigating one unnamed university based on a complaint filed in May 2015. That date corresponded with a federal complaint that more than 60 Asian-American groups filed against Harvard, accusing the university of violating civil-rights laws.

In a written statement a spokesman for the group that filed the records request, American Oversight, said that the department had separately confirmed the investigation.

“This is further proof that Attorney General Sessions and the Trump administration will continue to invoke civil rights only to further their own political agenda – not to provide equal protections for all Americans,” the statement says.

The department declined to comment to BuzzFeed, and Harvard did not immediately respond to the news organization’s request for comment.

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