Donald Trump executive order banning diversity training blocked by federal judge
A federal judge has prevented Donald Trump's executive order from preventing the federal government and its contractors from offering diversity training, which the president described as "divisive" and "un-American".
U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman issued an injunction nationwide on the lawsuit filed by LGBT rights groups in the Northern District of California in November.
"Plaintiffs have shown that it is likely that they can prove violations of their constitutional rights," Freeman wrote on Tuesday in a 34-page decision. "Additionally, as the government itself acknowledges, the plaintiffs' work is extremely important to historically underserved communities."
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The Department of Labor referred the US TODAY to the Department of Justice, which is handling the case. The Ministry of Justice could not be reached for comment.
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Critics say the Executive Ordinance broadly opposes diversity and inclusion programs that have been designed to reverse patterns of discrimination and exclusion for decades. The incoming Joe Biden administration is widely expected to scrap them.
"This is wonderful news," Avatara Smith-Carrington, attorney-at-law, Lambda Legal's Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellow who represented LGBT groups, told USA TODAY. "We cannot expect as a nation to work towards and achieve equality without first recognizing and addressing the prejudices that are deeply ingrained in the structure of that nation."
Trump's executive order, which affected government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits, and any other company that has or intends to apply for federal contracts, had an almost immediate deterrent effect on revitalized efforts to reduce racial differences in the workplace after death to be eliminated by George Floyd, a black man, under the knee of a white officer in Minneapolis in May.
Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony to present former soccer coach Lou Holtz with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, December 3, 2020.
A study by USA TODAY found that more than 55 years after the Civil Rights Act, less than 2% of top executives in the country's largest corporations are black.
Last week the Democrats urged the federal government to withdraw the order, calling it a political stunt. Bob Menendez, D-N.J .; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass .; and 18 other Senators sent a letter opposed to the implementation of the Executive Ordinance saying that "much needed efforts in our states to reduce racial and gender discrimination" are being stifled.
The declared aim of the Executive Ordinance was "to combat offensive and anti-American racial and sexual stereotypes and scapegoats".
The Department of Labor previously announced TODAY that the elimination of "racial and gender stereotypes and scapegoats in employment" was "one of the Trump administration's top civil rights priorities."
The Trump Executive Order faced more than one legal challenge
Civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, filed another lawsuit in October alleging that executive order violated freedom of speech in an "extraordinary and unprecedented act by the Trump administration to promote efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace to undermine ".
"We commend the court for identifying the constitutional flaws of President Trump's Executive Order 13950, which prohibits truth and equality, and for providing immediate relief by requiring national enforcement," said Janai Nelson , deputy director of the NAACP Legal Protection and Education Fund, said in a statement.
Nelson called on the Biden administration to repeal the Executive Ordinance and issue a new one "that will help restore and, above all, advance efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace."
A White House memo in late September suggested "eradicating ideologies that identify entire groups of Americans as inherently racist or evil" in diversity educational materials by searching for keywords such as "white privilege," "systemic racism," " Intersectionality "and" unconsciously "are sought bias."
When asked about his executive order during the first presidential debate, Trump said, "You taught people that our country is a horrible place, it's a racist place. And you taught people to hate our country. And I will not allow. " happen."
Biden replied, "Nobody does that."
"The fact is there is race insensitivity," he told Trump.
Trump aimed at a critical race theory
The target of Trump's executive order was critical racial theory, which teaches that racism permeates the government and other American institutions and gives whites an advantage.
Trump took up the issue after conservative activist Christopher Rufo appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight".
"What I discovered is that racial critical theory has essentially become the standard ideology of the federal bureaucracy and is now armed against the American people," said Rufo, director of the Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth & Poverty, Seattle. said on Carlson's show.
Rufo celebrated achieving his goal - "convince the President of the United States to abolish critical racial theory in the federal government" - and posted on Facebook shortly after Trump gave the order.
The Trump administration also challenged corporate efforts to recruit more black and colored executives to leadership roles.
In recent months, the federal contract fulfillment program that oversees federal contractors for the Department of Labor has been questioning whether diversity initiatives at Microsoft and Wells Fargo will double the number of black managers and executives over the next five years , violate federal laws that rule out discrimination based on race. Both companies believe their initiatives comply with these laws.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Trump Diversity Training Ban Blocked by Federal Judge
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