Education Department Official Challenges the American Bar Association’s Stance on Racial Diversity

The general counsel of the U.S. Department of Education is challenging the American Bar Association’s initiative calling on U.S. law schools to take “concrete action” to increase racial and ethnic diversity on their campuses. The Department’s legal staff charges that the ABA requirements would oblige law schools in states which have banned affirmative action in admissions and hiring to break the law.

In making its case the Education Department says, “The ABA is now requiring schools to implement quotas for enrollment and hiring of racial and ethnic minorities and women. While the agency says that its standard and its interpretations do not require quotas or preferences, the language is so vague that they can be reasonably read to require just that.”

If Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings agrees, she could force the ABA to abandon or revise its position or risk losing its authority as the accrediting agency for U.S. law schools.

Can this be another example of GOP efforts to put a stick in the eyes of black voters while winning, or reinforcing, voter support among racist whites?