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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Joins Coalition of 21 State AGs Demanding the ABA Stop Requiring Law Schools to Engage in Illegal Racial Discrimination

SALT LAKE CITY Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and 20 of his fellow state attorneys general sent a letter this week to the American Bar Association (ABA) demanding the group immediately stop requiring law schools, as part of the accreditation process, to treat students and faculty differently based on race. The ABA serves as the accrediting body for American law schools.

The ABA’s policy is set out in Standard 206 of its Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools 2023–2024. The letter explains that Standard 206 cannot be squared with the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (SFFA). The ABA is considering revisions to that Standard in light of SFFA, but the proposed changes continue to include the unlawful requirement that law schools engage in race-based admissions and hiring. The AGs’ letter urges the ABA to comply with federal law and with the ABA’s stated commitment to set the legal and ethical foundation for the nation.

The letter highlights that law school accreditation rests on a tightrope walk between Standard 206’s commands and the requirements of federal law. Furthermore, the letter discusses the harm that is caused by depriving people of educational and employment opportunities solely because of their race. The letter concludes with the bottom line that no matter how benign the intent behind Standard 206, it cannot lawfully be implemented in its current or revised forms. The Supreme Court has made clear that well-intentioned racial discrimination is just as illegal as malicious discrimination.

Joining Attorney General Reyes in this letter to the American Bar Association are attorneys general from the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Read the letter here.