Saturday, August 25, 2018
Following up on my previous posts (links below): the California Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed the trial court's denial of UCLA Prof Richard Sander's request to access California bar admissions data to study the racial implications of bar passage rates. Sander v. State Bar of California, Nos. A150061, A150625 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2018):
Appellants and petitioners Richard Sander and the First Amendment Coalition (Petitioners) challenge the trial court’s denial of their petition for writ of mandate seeking to obtain information from the State Bar of California’s bar admissions database. Specifically, Petitioners seek individually unidentifiable records for all applicants to the California Bar Examination from 1972 to 2008 in the following categories: race or ethnicity, law school, transfer status, year of law school graduation, law school and undergraduate GPA, LSAT scores, and performance on the bar examination. Making these records available to the public in a manner that protects the applicants’ privacy and anonymity, they believe, will allow researchers to study the potential relationship between preferential admissions programs in higher education and a gap in bar passage rates between racial and ethnic groups.
Following a bench trial, the superior court upheld the State Bar’s denial of Petitioners’ request on five independent grounds. We need address only the first of them. The court correctly found Petitioners’ request to be beyond the purview of the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code § 6250 et seq. (CPRA)) because it would compel the State Bar to create new records. Accordingly, we affirm.
Metropolitan News-Enterprise, C.A. Denies UCLA Law Professor’s Bid for Bar Information
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage: