University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Law School Admissions Council v. California DR-CA-0047
Docket / Court 34201300135574CUMCGDS ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Disability
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Disparate Treatment
Test or device
Testing
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Learning disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) California
Plaintiff Description Law School Admission Council, administrator of the Law School Admissions Test
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing DR-CA-0040 : Department of Fair Employment & Housing v. Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) (N.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
[California Court of Appeal Opinion Reversing Case] 01/13/2014 (222 Cal.App.4th 1265)
DR-CA-0047-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Butz, M. Kathleen (State Appellate Court)
DR-CA-0047-0001
Hoch, Andrea Lynn Court not on record
DR-CA-0047-0001
Robie, Ronald B. (State Appellate Court)
DR-CA-0047-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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