Like most new lawyers, I wanted to be a part of the American Bar Association, the pantheon for all barristers.
Before the ink dried on my license to practice law, I was sending in my application to join this august organization. Then, its magazines began to arrive and I noticed that the opinions, steering decisions and policies were remarkably liberal. That was 20 years ago, when I withdrew my name from its rolls.
It is 2008, and the ABA has not changed its political, leftist piffle. Case in point: George Mason University School of Law (with a conservative undergraduate college). Let me add here that the Princeton Review named GMU 4th on the list of colleges and law schools with the most diverse admissions policy.
The ABA visited the campus, uninvited, under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act. The ABA "site evaluation team" was unhappy that only 6.5 percent of entering students were minorities.
On further inquiry, the ABA learned that GMU was "very active in efforts to recruit minorities." Not good enough, said the ABA.The organization insisted that GMU adopt and implement a "significant preferential" affirmative-action program.
GMU refused. The school insisted that all potential law school aspirants take and score in the acceptable percentile on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test), as, by the way, all law schools require.
Here is where this standoff gets scary. The ABA, not to be denied its fascist, jackboot demands, appealed to the U.S. Department of Education (chock full of liberal pinheads), which gives accreditors (like the ABA) their authority to take corrective action. Simply stated, the ABA can take away the accreditation of GMU's law school, if the school does not tow the liberal line as dictated by the ABA.
Remember now, that federal funding is conditioned upon the school's accreditation status. No accreditation, no money.
The ABA, over the next few years, refused GMU accreditation for the reasons stated herein. Finally, the school relented and stepped up its minority recruitment from the previous 6.5 percent to 10.98 percent in 2001, and 16.16 percent in 2002.
Not good enough, bawled the ABA. In 2003, the ABA demanded that the dean of the law school personally appear before the association. Its leaders then commenced to intimidate him with threats of loss of accreditation.
GMU, after the ABA's forced liberal indoctrination of its dean, lowered minority admissions standards. The school pushed minority enrollment up to 17.3 percent in 2003 and 19 percent in 2004.
Still not good enough, said the ABA. It mattered not that 63 African Americans had been offered admissions, or that students who entered with low academic credentials would ultimately incur the heavy debt of law school and probably never graduate or pass the bar exam.
This assertion is not without a foundation. A study was conducted in the so-called elite law schools (e.g. Stanford, Vanderbilt, Harvard). The study revealed that 95 percent of whites had higher grades than their affirmative-action counterparts. While 8.2 percent of whites failed to graduate from the elite law schools, 19.3 percent of blacks did not graduate. The study confirms that the rate of non-graduation for black students would fall to 13.5 percent without racial preferences.
While 8.1 percent of whites failed the bar exam on the first try, 38.6 percent of blacks failed the bar exam on the first try. This suggests that the bar exam failure rate for black students would fall to 20.5 percent without racial preferences.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has recommended that the ABA leave issues of diversity to the individual institutions and has urged that the U.S. Department of Education bring the ABA to heel (fat chance) and warn the group that its authority to accredit law schools might be in jeopardy.
It is high time to get the ABA out of our universities' business, diversity enrollment or otherwise. ABA's abuse, for the sake of left wing political dogma, must not be allowed.
Law schools that adopt discriminatory admissions practices should be held to account, but non-government entities, such as the ABA, should not be able to force their own admission policies on state law schools, else the schools run the risk of losing federal funding, which is patently outside the purview of the ABA.
James Studdard is an attorney. He may be reached at email@example.com.