Two civil rights groups filed suit against the Trump administration on Thursday over its executive order banning diversity training, calling it an unconstitutional assault on free speech and equal rights under the law.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is representing the National Urban League and the National Fair Housing Alliance in the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia are the named defendants.
In the lawsuit, the civil rights groups call the executive order an authoritarian attack on progress and a blatant attempt to shut down conversations about race and gender. They demand it be immediately rescinded.
The September executive order and a series of subsequent administrative directives effectively banned diversity and inclusion training in federal offices and at any company or entity that contracts with the government or receives federal funding — which is a huge swath of American businesses and universities, covering millions of workers and students.
The order says such training is un-American and inherently sexist and racist. Yet diversity training has been standard practice inside companies for decades, and the orders have so far been met with widespread condemnation from not only civil rights groups, but a range of business interests like the Chamber of Commerce, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and even a pharmaceutical industry group.
This form of rank speech and thought policing directly contravenes some of the most sacred principles of the U.S. Constitution. Janai Nelson, associate director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
“This form of rank speech and thought policing directly contravenes some of the most sacred principles of the U.S. Constitution,” said Janai Nelson, associate director-counsel of the Legal Defense Fund, on a call announcing the litigation Thursday afternoon. “This assault on the freedom of...