American Law Unjustly Abandons Excellence
Yesterday I was on a panel at a conference in Warsaw, listening to a retired German professor sitting next to me, saying that Europe is going to lose badly to China, in terms of economic gains, because its workforce is not able to compete in terms of educational rigor. The professor said this is one deleterious effect of open migration, bringing in large numbers of people into Europe who must be educated and accommodated, but who do not have the cultural capital to participate fully in an advanced industrial democracy. The professor's point was that Europe's bleeding heart for Third World migrants is rendering it unfit for competition. He mentioned German factories that had relocated to China looking for qualified workers.
I thought about that when I saw this news just now, from the WSJ:
An American Bar Association panel voted Friday to drop a requirement that law school applicants take the LSAT or another standardized admissions test, amid debate about whether the tests help or hurt diversity in admissions.
The accrediting council, made up of lawyers, professors and administrators, voted 15-1 at its meeting to eliminate the requirement of a “valid and reliable admission test” for hopeful law students. The panel sought public comment on the proposal in May, after an ABA committee recommended the elimination of the testing requirement.
Individual law schools are still free to require a test. The policy change will take effect beginning for students applying in fall 2025.
The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, tests analytical reasoning, logic and reading comprehension, and is considered a predictor of success in law school. The ABA last year allowed law schools to consider the Graduate Record Examination, or the GRE, in addition to the LSAT.
Public comments over eliminating the testing requirement have been polarized, largely around the issue of diversity. The legal profession has long been criticized for a lack of women and people of color in its top ranks, and the panel’s debate comes as schools are bracing for a decision from the Supreme Court on whether race can be a factor in college admissions.
“In the grand scheme of things, folks of color perform less well on the LSAT than not, and for that reason, I think we are headed in the right direction,” Leo Martinez, an ABA council member and dean emeritus at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, said at the meeting. “I am sympathetic that it gives people like me a chance.”
Representatives from the Law School Admission Council, which administers the LSAT, and ETS, a nonprofit education testing service, told the council making testing optional would result in the admission of some law students who are unprepared to succeed, which it said would ultimately hurt the legal profession.
“This proposal will be highly disruptive,” John White, chair of LSAC’s board of trustees, told the council. “The change won’t be worth it, and we won’t get the diversity we are looking for.”
This is what we are becoming as a country: a place where our elites cannot bear to live with what the information gained from testing reveals to them about people, so they are banning the test. It's a country where the people in charge of shepherding our institutions have surrendered to a radically egalitarian racial ideology that views merit and excellence as immoral. I will never, ever forget what one of these leadership elites told me in an argument once, when I pointed out that this ideology causes us to sacrifice quality for the sake of diversity. The person said, in all sincerity, "But diversity is a component of quality."
Would you go to a doctor who was unqualified for medical school, but who got through it based on the guilt and pity of medical school administrators? Would you want to hire a lawyer who was second or third-rate, but got into law school, and made his way through the profession, because the people in charge of the profession threw standards in the trash, because they produced an unequal outcome?
That's the world we are making.
Here's the thing I don't understand: the one profession in which we would never, not for one second, allow egalitarianism to trump excellence, is professional sports. If you proposed lowering the standards of the NFL or NBA to create teams that included a proportional number of whites and Asians, you would be shouted out of the room, and rightly so. Winning is the most important thing. Excellence is the most important thing. If the most excellent team on the field or the court happens to be all black, then fine. There's not a white or Asian fan in the world who would tolerate for one second his favorite team losing games as long as they "looked like America."
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But in every other field of endeavor -- law, medicine, business, even the military -- it's Diversity Ûber Alles. The elites whose responsibility it is to steward the fundamental institutions of our society are more interested in assuaging their own self-hating consciences than in making sure we have a society where things work like they're supposed to.
This is what it means to live in a decadent civilization. The thing is, it's not going to last. A society built on systematic lying about reality cannot endure. There's going to be a hell of a lot of suffering ahead before we learn this lesson. When Diverse Lionel Hutz makes it to the Supreme Court, maybe then we'll see the problem. Maybe.