Regulation Faculty Dean Lashes Out At D.C. Bar Seating Approach As ‘Likely Unconstitutional’

Yesterday we advised you about the controversy brewing in excess of the July administration of the D.C. Uniform Bar Exam. Very last 7 days, people that required to choose that test uncovered that capacity at the test would be capped at 1,100 — which is *50 percent* the range of people who took the July 2021 exam. What’s a lot more, they also realized that priority registration would be specified to those people that attended legislation university in the District of Columbia. Oh, and by the time they figured out just how crunched seating would be at the exam, the deadline to register for lots of other jurisdictions experienced passed.

It’s a dilly of a pickle for the D.C. Courtroom of Appeals who administers the exam and an very demanding situation for the hundreds who most likely uncover on their own locked out of the bar test.

On Friday, Chief Choose Anna Blackburne-Rigsby responded to a letter from 100+ regulation school deans that nearly begged the D.C. Courtroom of Appeals to discover a way to accommodate the wannabe check takers. That response recurring numerous of the excuses we’ve listened to in advance of, that seating ability is restricted at the venue:

“The Courtroom has secured the premier location offered in D.C. on the dates of the examination. The seating capacity was established by the sizing of the location. We are ready to seat a total of 1,100 candidates. The use of several smaller sized venues does not fulfill the requirements for implementing very best methods for administering a significant stakes exam.”

And that the court’s April 1 announcement that there would be confined seating at the July test must have provided applicants ample detect to register for other jurisdictions’ tests. Of training course, that April recognize did not supply exam takers with any perception of *how* minimal the seating would be and specially not that potential would be 50 percent of what was required in 2021.

But relatively that wait around for all of his fellow deans to get alongside one another and reply, Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Law, took the mic. As documented by he finds it pretty sus that there is not a bigger location available: “It is hard to think that in the whole D.C. metropolitan spot there are not facilities that you could locate to accommodate a lot more test takers.”

He ongoing:

“Moreover, your letter does not deal with the worry of the deans that it is arbitrary and unfair to favor people who attended D.C. law universities over all those who went to regulation college in other jurisdictions,” Chemerinsky wrote. “I can not recognize the rationale for these favoritism and I believe it is very likely unconstitutional.”

This is not the very first time legislation university deans have fought bar examiners over preferential treatment method. Two a long time ago, New York announced a similar prepare, but backed off when deans threatened to just take them to court docket.

Chemerinksy reported he thinks supplying preferential seating for the bar “violates equivalent safety simply because it is so arbitrary and serves no legit purpose.”

“If performed by a point out, it would violate the dormant commerce clause,” he reported. “But it is unresolved irrespective of whether the dormant commerce clause applies to the District of Columbia,” incorporating that he did not know whether a lawsuit is getting prepared at this time.

Prior in-particular person administrations of the D.C. bar exam took place at the D.C. Conference Center, which has a much larger potential. Nevertheless, an anime convention booked that space throughout the final 7 days of July, and will do so in the upcoming.

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Regulation, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the most effective, so please link with her. Sense free to email her with any recommendations, issues, or reviews and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).