As Hot Air noted, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is gearing up to investigate and possibly litigate instances of racial discrimination in admissions to colleges and universities. The reason this policy change is somewhat different is that it aims at discrimination against white and Asian students as a result of so-called affirmative action policies that favor other ethnic groups.

Supreme Court rulings have left the law somewhat murky

The United States Supreme Court has left the law concerning racial discrimination in college admissions somewhat murky.

On the one hand, the Court has prohibited outright racial quotas in college admissions. On the other hand, it has also ruled that race could be used as one of many considerations. The practical result has been that university admissions offices have become more adroit in hiding the practice of determining by race which students get in and which do not.

What will be the practical effect of the new policy?

The matter of how admission practices at institutes of higher learning are likely to be in the courts for some years. However, by the time that the question gets to the Supreme Court, the political balance of power among the justices may well have changed from the time when the last rulings were made on the issue.

President Donald Trump will have had a chance to choose one and possibly two conservative justices who will replace liberal ones. The effect on Supreme Court Rulings cannot be overestimated.

Toward a color blind, merit based admissions system

The idea of all of this is the reestablishment of a color blind, merit based system for admitting students to institutions of higher learning.

The students with the best grades and test scores, with the most appropriate extracurricular activities, will get in and those who do not have these things will not.

Proponents of affirmative action will suggest that such a system would mean that less African American and Hispanic students will go to the right Colleges And Universities.

If such is the case, then the development will cause a focus on the real problem in education in America, how the system fails minority groups. Merit based admission to institutions of higher learning will force reforms for secondary and primary schools.

Of course, the battleground will have shifted in this instance. On the one hand, conservative reformers will advocate school choice programs as a way to get market competition into schools. The current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a champion of this approach. On the other hand, opponents of reform will want to throw more money at the problem. That is a debate worth having.