For the last several weeks we have been talking about steps the newly elected President Bident. Well, it turns out we were correct on several points. Almost immediately after President Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, he signed 17 executive actions covering a broad spectrum of issues, including discrimination, racial justice, immigration, and environmental justice. The Biden Administration’s Executive Orders have revoked a range of Trump Administration orders. The new Administration intends to prioritize a comprehensive set of rules aimed at advancing diversity and equity. For example, one Executive Order directed all agency heads to advance racial equity, while another Executive Order looks to broaden the interpretation of Title VII that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
President Biden’s Executive Orders have displayed a new wave effort by addressing diversity and equity comprehensively, across several policy initiatives, agencies and departments. The focus on diversity and equity mirrors a sea change that will not just make a change with the federal government, but also lay a lot of groundwork for private sectors to comply with the relevant laws and regulations.
Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
- The Executive Order reinforces the Supreme Court’s recent holding in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This order is committed to enforcing Title VII, Title IX, the Fair Housing Act, Section 412 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation. The order requests that each agency head would consider revising any agency action that would be inconsistent with this policy.
Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
- This Executive Order revokes President Trump’s Executive Order 13950, which disallowed diversity and inclusion training by federal agencies and contractors. It also revokes Executive Order 13958 which established the 1776 Commission, which was created to promote “patriotic education” in public schools regarding the history of the American founding. This order is committed to the federal government affirmatively advancing “equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity. The order directs federal agencies to review their agency equity, including whether or not underserved community’s fact systemic barriers to obtaining benefits and opportunities in federal programs. They are also requesting that these agencies deliver a report to them in 200 days. Agencies are also required to create a plan to address identified barriers. This will allow the study for methods to assess federal equity and diversity efforts, with hopes of the agencies consulting with members of underrepresented communities.
Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):
- The Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama created DACA, which deferred the removal of certain undocumented immigrants who were brought the United States as children. This program allows qualified immigrants who pass a background check temporary work permits. In addition, the Biden Administration directed Homeland Security, along with the Attorney general, to take all actions “to preserve and fortify DACA.”
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About Harrison Oldham
Harrison grew up in Mansfield, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University for his bachelor’s degree, where he met his wonderful wife, Kelsey. After graduating magna cum laude from Texas A&M, he attended SMU Dedman School of Law, graduating with honors in 2012. Today, Harrison and his wife live in Dallas, Texas with their son, Teddy.
Since graduating from SMU Law, Harrison has worked exclusively in the field of business law. He has spent time in private practice and in-house, working with clients of every size; from single person startups to Fortune 250 companies. Today his practice focuses on serving the diverse needs of businesses and individuals throughout Texas. You can learn more about Harrison by visiting his website, at: http://