Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Conservative Group Sues Wisconsin Bar To Block Diversity Clerkship Program For Law Students

Reuters, Conservative Group Sues Wisconsin Bar to Block Diversity Clerkship Program:

Wisconsin BarA conservative legal advocacy group has sued the State Bar of Wisconsin, claiming its diversity fellowship program for law students violates the free speech rights of bar members whose dues are used to fund it.

The lawsuit, filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty on Tuesday on behalf of a Wisconsin attorney, is the latest in a series of legal challenges to diversity programs after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that colleges and universities cannot consider race in admissions.

Plaintiff Daniel Suhr claims he should not have to pay for the state bar’s fellowship program because it is unconstitutional and not germane to the core functions of the bar. Using Suhr's mandatory dues for what he claims is an illegal program violates his First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution, the lawsuit said.

The State Bar of Wisconsin will "vigorously defend" the diversity program, executive director Larry Martin said in a statement Wednesday. ...

According to its website, the diversity fellowship is open to first-year students at Marquette University Law School and the University of Wisconsin Law School who demonstrate a “commitment to diversity” and a record of academic achievement.

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