On January 10, 2013, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Sacramento County against the State of California. The plaintiff alleged that Section 99161.5 of the California Education Code, which required the plaintiff, and no other testing entity, to ...
read more >
On January 10, 2013, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Sacramento County against the State of California. The plaintiff alleged that Section 99161.5 of the California Education Code, which required the plaintiff, and no other testing entity, to accommodate individuals with disabilities and create of a process to appeal adverse accommodations decisions, violated the California Constitution's Equal Protection Clause (Article I § 7 Subdivision a) and Freedom of Speech Clause (Article I §2 Subdivision a). The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief.
On January 15, 2013, the Superior Court (Judge Raymond M. Cadei) denied the plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order.
On February 1, 2013, the Superior Court granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court found that Section 99161.5 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, because it required the plaintiff to modify their testing policies but did not require other standardized tests like the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) to follow the same procedures. The State of California appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Third District of California.
On January 13, 2014, the Court of Appeals (Judge Andrea Lynn Hoch), speaking for a unanimous court, reversed the trial court's grant of a preliminary injunction. The Court held that, as a matter of law, Section 99161.5 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, because only individuals or organizations that are similarly situated are entitled to be held to the same legal standards. The Court held that LSAC was not entitled to be treated as all other professional testing agencies as it was not similarly situated to other testing agencies in that it alone controls the law school admissions process. The Court also held that Section 99161.5 did not violate the California Constitution's prohibition against "special statutes" for the same reason that it does not violate the equal protection clause as the analysis is almost identical. Law School Admissions Council v. State
, 166 Cal.Rptr.3d 647.
The Court of Appeals further found that Section 99161.5 did not violate the Liberty of Speech Protection of the California Constitution because, under the intermediate protection analysis required by that type of speech, the law related to the legitimate governmental interest of reducing discrimination in the law school admissions process.Brian Kempfer - 03/02/2014