Case: Law School Admissions Council v. California

13-34201300 | California state trial court

Filed Date: Jan. 10, 2013

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 10, 2013, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Sacramento County against the State of California. The plaintiff alleged that Section 99161.5 of the California Education Code, which required the plaintiff, and no other testing entity, to accommodate individuals with disabilities and create of a process to appeal adverse accommodations decisions, violated the California Constitution's Equal Protection Clause (Article I § 7 Subdivision a) and…

On January 10, 2013, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Sacramento County against the State of California. The plaintiff alleged that Section 99161.5 of the California Education Code, which required the plaintiff, and no other testing entity, to accommodate individuals with disabilities and create of a process to appeal adverse accommodations decisions, violated the California Constitution's Equal Protection Clause (Article I § 7 Subdivision a) and Freedom of Speech Clause (Article I §2 Subdivision a). The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief.

On January 15, 2013, the Superior Court (Judge Raymond M. Cadei) denied the plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order.

On February 1, 2013, the Superior Court granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court found that Section 99161.5 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, because it required the plaintiff to modify their testing policies but did not require other standardized tests like the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) to follow the same procedures. The State of California appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Third District of California.

On January 13, 2014, the Court of Appeals (Judge Andrea Lynn Hoch), speaking for a unanimous court, reversed the trial court's grant of a preliminary injunction. The Court held that, as a matter of law, Section 99161.5 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, because only individuals or organizations that are similarly situated are entitled to be held to the same legal standards. The Court held that LSAC was not entitled to be treated as all other professional testing agencies as it was not similarly situated to other testing agencies in that it alone controls the law school admissions process. The Court also held that Section 99161.5 did not violate the California Constitution's prohibition against "special statutes" for the same reason that it does not violate the equal protection clause as the analysis is almost identical. Law School Admissions Council v. State, 166 Cal.Rptr.3d 647.

The Court of Appeals further found that Section 99161.5 did not violate the Liberty of Speech Protection of the California Constitution because, under the intermediate protection analysis required by that type of speech, the law related to the legitimate governmental interest of reducing discrimination in the law school admissions process.

Summary Authors

Brian Kempfer (3/2/2014)

Related Cases

Department of Fair Employment & Housing v. Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), Northern District of California (2012)

People


Judge(s)

Butz, M. Kathleen (California)

Hoch, Andrea Lynn (California)

Robie, Ronald B. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Darby, Robert E. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Murphy, Christine M. (California)

Wise, R Matthew (California)

Judge(s)

Butz, M. Kathleen (California)

Hoch, Andrea Lynn (California)

Robie, Ronald B. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Darby, Robert E. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Murphy, Christine M. (California)

Wise, R Matthew (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

[California Court of Appeal Opinion Reversing Case]

California state appellate court

222 Cal.App.4th 1265

Jan. 13, 2014 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights/Public Accommodations

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 10, 2013

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Law School Admission Council, administrator of the Law School Admissions Test

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

California, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

None yet

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - privately owned

Disparate Treatment

Testing

Test or device

Discrimination-area:

Accommodation / Leave

Testing

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Hearing impairment

Mental impairment

Mobility impairment

Visual impairment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Learning disability

Mental Illness, Unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

Intellectual/Developmental Disability

Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit