Buckeye Institute questions race-based law programs



(The Center Square) – A Columbus-based policy group questioned race-based programs that violate federal law in four Ohio bar associations, three law firms and five public law schools.

The Buckeye Institute said in a letter to each organization that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled all racial discrimination is unlawful, no matter the motivation. It also said several recent lawsuits have successfully challenged minority programs like the ones in Ohio.

“While the sentiments of these programs may be laudable, they violate federal law and are unconstitutional,” said David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute. “Excluding students from esteemed fellowships and scholarships because of their race is wrong, not to mention illegal, and these programs should be immediately opened to all applicants.”

Letters of investigation were sent to the Akron, Cleveland Metro, Columbus and Toledo bar associations. Questions were also sent to the law firms of Eastman & Smith, Reminger Co., and IceMiller, along with the university law schools at Ohio State, Cleveland State, Akron, Cincinnati and Toledo.

The letters to the bar associations question a minority clerkship program in Akron, along with the Cleveland Legal Collaborative, the Louis Stokes Scholarship Program, and the 1L Clerkship Program in Cleveland.

Columbus’ minority clerkship program and Toledo’s summer clerkship program were questioned.

The law firms participate in Columbus’ minority program.

The law school letters include public records requests for information related to race-based preferences, priority, scholarships, internships, externships, fellowships or other job opportunities supported by the schools.

The letters come less than two weeks after the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sent a letter to the University of Wisconsin asking it to stop prioritizing by race when selecting several awards and fellowships.

The Wisconsin institute is also questioning similar race-based programs or awards at UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater.

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