American Bar Association is proposing new accrediting standards for law schools that would make them more race-conscious, more politically correct and less intellectually diverse. The proposal should fail on the merits. It’s so bad it should also prompt reconsiderations of the ABA’s role as accreditor of law schools and of the U.S. Supreme Court precedent on racial preferences in law-school admissions.
Having lawyers regulate entrance into their own profession has always been anomalous. The ABA has an abiding interest in making entry more expensive—it decreases competition for its current members. But now the ABA wants to use wokeness to raise operating costs, impose ideological uniformity, and reduce academic freedom. The new standards would require law schools to show continuous “progress” toward diversifying their faculties and student bodies. They would be encouraged to do it on a timetable, as if a school can predict when someone of a particular race who meets often specialized curricular and research needs will show up. The ABA also wants to add new diversity requirements for ethnicity and gender identity.