Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.
Columbia Law School Takes Action: Removes Admission Requirement Amid Allegations of Bypassing Affirmative Action Ban
On Monday, Columbia Law School made a significant move by eliminating a controversial admission requirement for transfer students. The decision came after The Washington Free Beacon raised concerns that this particular application process might have been employed as a means to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action.
The context surrounding this issue was influenced by a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court in June. The ruling stated that race-based admissions programs at Harvard University were in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, while the University of North Carolina’s programs violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This ruling holds considerable implications for university admissions processes nationwide, leading Columbia Law School to address the potential implications of its own admission requirements and make appropriate changes.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling eliminating universities’ use of race as a factor in admissions decisions, some institutions have been exploring potential loopholes in the ruling. One such case involves Columbia Law School, where reports emerged that a new admission requirement for transfer applicants was introduced on their website.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the law school’s admissions page initially stated that transfer applicants must submit a 90-second video statement answering random questions. The purpose was supposedly to provide the Admissions Committee with additional insights into the applicants’ personal strengths. However, it is noteworthy that this video statement requirement was added to the website after the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action policies, raising concerns about its intentions.
This situation has sparked discussions about universities’ efforts to find alternative ways to evaluate applicants while adhering to the court’s ruling on affirmative action.
Edward Blum, the founder of the nonprofit legal advocacy organization Students for Fair Admissions, expressed concern about Columbia Law School’s decision to include a 90-second video statement as part of the transfer applicants’ admission process. Blum stated that this move appears to be an intentional effort to bypass the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. He questioned the legitimacy of using a video statement to evaluate applicants when a written statement could potentially serve the same purpose.
Blum’s organization had previously taken legal action against elite universities, accusing them of unfairly considering race in their admissions processes. They highlighted cases of high-achieving Asian American and white applicants who were rejected despite their impressive test scores. The Supreme Court eventually ruled against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina in this matter.
After The Washington Free Beacon reported on the video statement requirement, a spokesperson from Columbia Law School stated that the component had been part of a pilot program introduced before the Supreme Court’s ruling. However, in response to the report, officials promptly removed the video statement portion from the school’s website by 6:00 p.m. on Monday.
Columbia Law School responded to the concerns raised by The Washington Free Beacon, stating that video statements would no longer be required as part of the Fall 2024 J.D. application. They clarified that the requirement had been inadvertently listed on the school’s website and has since been corrected.
In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action policies, other colleges have been exploring alternative ways to inquire about applicants’ race. For instance, Sarah Lawrence College in New York reportedly asks applicants how the SCOTUS ruling has personally affected them, as reported by the New York Post. This approach raises questions about the methods used to consider race in the admissions process after the court’s decision.