Federalist Society member Ron Rotunda writes for Verdict:
In 2008, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates adopted what it called “GOAL III: Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity.” This goal: (1) “Promote full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons,” and (2) “Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the Justice System.”
These goals are very important and worthy. The ABA is no longer the kind of organization it once was. The ABA once prohibited black lawyers from membership, and did not lift its rule until 1943. That color ban caused black lawyers, in 1925, to found the “Negro Bar Association,” now called the National Bar Association. A quarter of a century earlier, in 1918, the ABA allowed women to join. It was not until 2015 that the ABA had its first black female president, Paulette Brown, who was only third black lawyer to serve as ABA president in its 136-year history.
The ABA has made remarkable strides in eliminating bias and forcefully acknowledging the need to remove barriers. The problem is how the ABA implements these goals. It does not advance the ball if it removes old barriers while creating new ones.
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