According to the New York Times, the U.S. Justice Department has asked the White House for approval to make changes to a primary federal law; if granted, the changes would undo several vital civil rights protections for minorities.
If the White House accepts their proposition, the DOJ will change how they enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. In December, the proposal was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget, asking to keep protections in place in situations of intentional discrimination. However, it would not continue to protect instances where “disparate impact” was felt by minority groups, The New York Times reported.
Draft documents obtained by the Times referenced the department’s statement that it currently enforces Title VI, which includes a “vastly broader scope of conduct” than the statute allows for.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.” If the changes go through, it will be the first significant change to its definition of discrimination in Title VI in years.
There could be a delay in enacting the change when the Biden administration and the new attorney general go into office; however, it does not erase the impact felt by Civil Rights advocates who have long supported the “disparate impact” protections under the title.
“The regulation and explanation are exceedingly sparse, and it shows the dangers of rule-making without following the legally required process, including opportunities for public comment,” Lauren Sampson, staff attorney at Lawyers for Civil Rights, told the newspaper.
Donald Trump‘s administration has worked hard to dismantle racial-bias laws that have been put enacted to protect and prevent minorities from discrimination.