Posted on June 9, 2024

21 Republican AGs Caution American Bar Association Against Diversity Requirements

Jackson Walker. TND, June 4, 2024

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti led a letter by 21 Republican U.S. attorneys general to the American Bar Association (ABA) Monday warning its diversity efforts may violate the U.S. Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in higher education requires “significant adjustments” to the ABA’s process of accrediting law schools, the letter reads. Specifically, the attorneys general take issue with Standard 206, which they say requires law schools to emphasize race-based admissions and hiring processes.

Standard 206 seemingly asks law schools to defy the Court’s clear directive,” the letter reads. “In its current form, the Standard all but compels law schools to consider race in both the admissions and employment contexts.”

Giving preferential treatment to certain races over others would violate discrimination laws and would “burden every law school in America with punitive civil-rights litigation,” according to the attorneys general.

“Anyone with an interest in the legal profession and students’ well-being should be concerned that accreditation rests—and seemingly will continue to rest—on a tightrope walk between federal law, on one hand, and Section 206’s contrary demands on the other,” the letter reads.