According to a new New York Times report, the Justice Department is attempting to strip away civil rights protections for communities of color.
Donald Trump is trying to make his last weeks in office hell for all American people, but, in particular, for folks who aren’t white, straight, or male. According to a drafted document, Trump’s administration is trying to reverse civil rights protections for people of color, women, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA community.
The drafted proposal was officially submitted to the White House for its approval last month, according to Erica L. Green and Katie Benner of the New York Times. In the document, the Justice Department is seeking to change how it enforces Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, a federal law which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.” This would be the first time in decades that the Justice Department has requested to change how it defines discrimination, CNN reports.
If the document is approved, it would keep restrictions in place in intentional cases but not situations where a “disparate impact” was felt by marginalized groups of people, the Times reports. The Justice Department states in the proposal that its current enforcement of Title VI included a “vastly broader scope of conduct” than what the law actually allows.
Lauren Sampson, a staff attorney at Lawyers for Civil Rights, told the Times, “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.”
In a tweet, Shiwali Patel, the senior counsel for the National Women’s Law Center, responded to the move saying, “It’s unconscionable that the DOJ is trying to sneak in changes at the eleventh hour to weaken civil rights protections against racial discrimination.”