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Monday, January 16, 2017
LSAT Discrimination Case Reaches U.S. Supreme Court
It has been over five years since Angelo Binno, a prospective law school student from Michigan, first filed his discrimination lawsuit against the American Bar Association (ABA). Binno, who is blind, claimed that a particular written portion of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), could not feasibly be completed by an applicant who could not see. Because the LSAT is (essentially) a requirement for admission to any accredited law school in America, Binno asserted that the exam's failure to provide adequate accommodations for students with disabilities rendered it discriminatory.

Since 2011, Binno's claims have been repeatedly rejected as his case winds its way through the lower courts. Several courts have ruled for the ABA because it does not actually administer the test. This is where the context is complex. The ABA is empowered in part by the U.S. Department of Education as the primary regulating body for U.S. law schools. In recent years, the ABA has been criticized by the USDoE for getting too lax in admissions standards. In turn, the ABA has put the screws to several lower-performing law schools, putting them on probation and threatening to pull their accreditation.

In the past, the ABA granted LSAT waivers to students with disabilities, a policy that has since been abolished. Binno's attorneys argue that the ABA's failure to grant waivers to students like him is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to grant Binno review of the matter. If they do not, it will prove the end of the line for Binno's suit against the ABA.


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