Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A Suer Mentality

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Gail Heriot describes the rank thugishness of the American Bar Association’s work accrediting law schools. The case of George Mason University Law School is typical.

GMU’s problems began in early 2000, when the American Bar Association visited the law school, which has a somewhat conservative reputation, for its routine reaccreditation inspection. The site evaluation team was unhappy that only 6.5% of entering students were minorities.

Outreach was not the problem; even the site evaluation report (obtained as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests) conceded that GMU had a "very active effort to recruit minorities." But the school, the report noted, had been "unwilling to engage in any significant preferential affirmative action admissions program." Since most law schools were willing to admit minority students with dramatically lower entering academic credentials, GMU was at a recruitment disadvantage. The site evaluation report noted its "serious concerns" with the school’s policy.

Over the next few years, the ABA repeatedly refused to renew GMU’s accreditation, citing its lack of a "significant preferential affirmative action program" and supposed lack of diversity. The school stepped up its already-extensive recruitment efforts, but was forced to back away from its opposition to significant preferential treatment. It was thus able to raise the proportion of minorities in its entering class to 10.98% in 2001 and 16.16% in 2002.

Not good enough. In 2003, the ABA summoned the university’s president and law school dean to appear before it personally, threatening to revoke the institution’s accreditation.

GMU responded by further lowering minority admissions standards

And the harassment of GMU by the ABA continues.

Discussions - 8 Comments

The school needs to litigate the issue. Instead of tamely submitting to the ABA, take 'em to court. I'm sure they can find some good litigators amongst their own graduates, who would be eager to go after the ABA.

My advice to them, after they've tried to work through the issue with an unwilling and agenda driven ABA, is to kick it up a notch, and start litigation.

George Mason is an excellent law school, and shouldn't be subjected to this kind of ridiculous pressure to submit and to conform.

Another problem related to the one raised is the Bar passage rates of minorities. What good is it to have a law school admit a student, who upon graduation can't pass the Bar. Imagine a minority student who has assumed massive student loan debt, who has been told by the affirmative action crowd that he too has what it takes to be a lawyer, but upon graduation can't pass the Bar.

This is one of the little known issues circulating in the legal community. The push by Liberals to water down academic standards has created a problem for the Bar. And now Liberals are seeking to dilute the Bar requirements, or erase them altogether.

It's become a real mess.

And that's on top of the problem caused by too many lawyers in America as it is.

GMU should commence litigation. The ABA wants to get rough, GMU should respond likewise. And go public, and go public in a major way. Start taking out ads in the Washington Post and the NYT. Publicize the harassment.

Exactly. Take them to court, and go public in a major way. Mega-dittoes.
And let's try out a new epithet: "Diversity thugs."

Those who truly believe in diversity wouldn't be disturbed by the existence of a few institutions that are less diverse than they themselves might like. If everything must fit a mold -- as GMU is being forced to -- then clearly there is no respect for genuine diversity. Of course, such reasoning is too much for tiny minds.

GMU is trying to establish a reputation as a fine school with high academic requirements. Not to mention they're trying to establish a reputation in the D.C. area, which has well-regarded law schools like GW and Georgetown. So GMU is trying to set a high standard and make themselves equal to their peers in the region.

And for that the ABA is trying not just to punish them, but crush them.

I don't know what legal advice GMU is getting, ------------------------------ but it's not the right advice, and it certainly isn't very savvy. GMU should have gone public with this at the first hint of a threat from the ABA. They should have been the ones firing a shot across the ABA's bow, and not on the receiving end of such a warning shot from the ABA.

I'm sure the lawyers they have advising them have a great resume, but that doesn't mean they're sharp lawyers.

I don't know what's worse, the actions of the ABA, or the lame, servile non-response by GMU.

A very disturbing story. The ABA isn't content to merely be partisan on its evaluations of judges, but now will call into question entire institutions. Liberals: you want a future "Red/Blue" divide in higher education, one that will bleed its diviseness into our entire society, you want to diminish the accepted-by-conservatives-and-liberals credentialing credibility of organizations like the ABA, keep crap like this up. Genuinely unifying Democratic politicians: you must attack things like this. Not merely in Sistah Souljah moments, but continuously, all down the line. One can support the typical affirmative action in our universities without supporting this "ONE way to promote diversity" educrat totalitarianism. Our political liberals need to attack the tyrannical impulses too many of our bureaucratic liberals (not just in govt., but in corporations and organizations) indulge in. They do no-one any good.

Yeah, Carl, I'm sure Obama will get right on the case. We can expect him to come out strongly for GMU any day now. I'll be a gentleman and assume that your joking. The rest of your comment is spot-on. "Tyrannical impulses" is EXACTLY the right phrase. And yes, these exist throughout civil society, where liberals' power (as in government) is immense and growing.

Yeah, Carl, I'm sure Obama will get right on the case. We can expect him to come out strongly for GMU any day now. I'll be a gentleman and assume that you're joking. The rest of your comment is spot-on. "Tyrannical impulses" is EXACTLY the right phrase. And yes, these exist throughout civil society, where liberals' power (as in government) is immense and growing.

I know you don't mention Obama. But your reference to "genuinely unifying Democratic politicians" is almost as laughable, is it not? That's kind of in the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot category: Possible but don't count on it, and at best, very rare critters. I guarantee you that almost no Democratic politicians -- perhaps none at all -- will "attack things like this." Even most Republicans won't. Even most of the the good (i.e., divisive) Republicans won't.

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