Civil rights organizations said they will be closely monitoring the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in response to a report that the Trump administration may begin suing colleges and universities over their affirmative action policies.

The New York Times reported being in possession of a document seeking to recruit DOJ attorneys for work towards “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Georgia NAACP took to social media and tweeted, “We will not stand back as the @realDonaldTrump Administration rolls back on Civil Rights.”

Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat of California, called out the Attorney General by name in an afternoon tweet.

“Jeff Sessions’ attack on #AffirmativeAction is yet another attempt by this Administration to roll back progress & divide us,” Harris wrote.

The Trump administration and the Department of Justice downplayed the report. “The New York Times article is based entirely on uncorroborated inferences from a leaked internal personnel posting in violation of Department of Justice policy,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, told reporters. “While the White House does not confirm or deny the existence of potential investigations, the Department of Justice will always review credible allegations of discrimination on the basis of any race.” A spokeswoman for the DOJ said the agency did not have plans to investigate college affirmative action policies.

“The idea that the Justice Department would sue colleges over their inclusive policies is an affront to fairness and sends a dangerous signal that it will no longer work to protect the most vulnerable,” Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program, said in a statement. “It would mark an alarming shift in direction that threatens the hard-fought progress made by civil rights advocates and the department itself over the past decades. The Supreme Court has made it clear that it is constitutional to appropriately consider race as one of many factors in college admissions. We will be monitoring closely.”

Harvard University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are still being sued for their affirmative action admissions practices and the most recent Supreme Court decision, Fisher v. University of Texas, upheld affirmative action in 2016.

Many cases have come before the Supreme Since Regents of the of the University of California v. Bakke, a 1978 decision where affirmative action was upheld.

Generally, the Court has been against race-based quotas and set-asides and pushed for race-conscious “holistic” approaches so long as they serve a compelling interest.

Grutter v. Bollinger, a 5-4 opinion, found racial diversity a compelling interest of a campus, and affirmed for holistic approaches but decided simultaneously that points could not be used to determine the value of a race to a campus in Gratz v. Bollinger, a 6-3 decision.

The Times reported that the document does not name which races or ethnicities might come to harm from “intentional race-based discrimination,” but the plaintiffs Abigail Fisher, Barbara Grutter and Jennifer Gratz have all been White.