Obama-era Affirmative Action Guidance Rolled Back: The Trump Administration announced that they would be rolling back Obama-era affirmative action guidelines on July 3. The U.S. Department of Education’s website was updated to reflect race-neutral guidance from the Bush administration. The Justice Department explained the decision by saying the administration did not support bypassing the courts and Congress to create policies through executive action. Opponents to the decision have pointed out that the guidelines in question are not binding policies so much as they are the federal government’s official positions on how to handle various race issues. Democrats, civil rights groups, and education experts have expressed alarm over the move that could limit educational outcomes for African-American and Latino students.
Staffing Changes in Education Department’s Office of General Counsel: Steven Menashi, who previously served as acting general counsel at the U.S. Department of Education, has left the Department to join the White House Counsel’s Office this week. Additionally, Jed Brinton, a political appointee in the office, began a short-term detail at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.
Brett Kavanaugh on Education: President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh, currently a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh is the son of a former public-school teacher and has ruled on a handful of cases involving K-12 education. During his 13 years as a judge, Kavanaugh has written in support of school prayer and religious freedom and in opposition to race-based affirmative action. In 2000, Kavanaugh predicted that school vouchers would be upheld by the Supreme Court.