Many college leaders and diversity advocates were stunned by the news Tuesday that the U.S. Justice Department is preparing to investigate and sue collegesover their affirmative action policies. Just over a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the admissions policies of the University of Texas at Austin, which include consideration of race and ethnicity. As a result, many educators were not expecting a sustained challenge to affirmative action this soon.

Experts on higher education law said that ruling, as well as one three years earlier, also involving the University of Texas, and another in 2003 on policies at the University of Michigan, were clear on a principle underlying many college policies to consider race and ethnicity in admissions. Diversity has educational value, and colleges are entitled to pursue diverse student bodies, the decisions all said….

Read more in Inside Higher Ed.