Republican Attorneys General Warn American Bar Association To Steer Clear Of Race-Based Initiatives
Law and justice.
Credit: boonchai wedmakawand via Getty Images.

Over twenty Republican attorneys general are warning the American Bar Association that its diversity and inclusion standards may violate the Constitution. 

Led by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, the Republican officials sent a letter Monday to the American Bar Association, the organization that accredits law schools across the country, saying that it needed to reconsider its diversity standards in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action. The letter said that the affirmative action decision “requires significant adjustments” to the bar association standards to make sure they aren’t treating law students and faculty differently based on race. 

“The rule of law cannot long survive if the organization that accredits legal education requires every American law school to ignore the Constitution and civil rights law,” Skrmetti said. “The American Bar Association has long pursued the high calling of promoting respect for the law and the integrity of the legal profession, and we call on the organization to recommit to those ideals and ensure that its standards for law schools comport with federal law.” 

A particular issue is the American Bar Association’s Standard 206 on diversity and inclusion. 

The standard says that schools should demonstrate “a commitment to diversity and inclusion by providing full opportunities for the study of law and entry into the profession by members of underrepresented groups, particularly racial and ethnic minorities.”

The standards are currently undergoing revisions, but the attorneys general said that the proposed alternatives still seemed to focus on race. 

“While we support the Council’s willingness to modify Standard 206, the proposed revisions reemphasize Standard 206’s problematic requirement that law schools engage in race-based admissions and hiring,” they wrote. “We urge the Council to modify its standards in a way that comports with federal law and with the ABA’s purported commitment to set the legal and ethical foundation for the nation.”

Skrmetti suggested that law schools across the country might be subject to civil rights lawsuits if they maintained their current diversity requirements. 


“If the standards continue to insist on treating students and faculty differently based on the color of their skin, they will burden every law school in America with punitive civil rights litigation,” he said. 

The attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia all signed on to the lawsuit. 

New York bar associations have already signaled they may attempt to bypass the SCOTUS affirmative action decision while the Wisconsin Bar Association agreed to a partial settlement earlier this year over a “diversity” internship program.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Republican Attorneys General Warn American Bar Association To Steer Clear Of Race-Based Initiatives