Race-based program run by bar association now under fire

 January 6, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Yet another program, this one run by a state bar association, is coming under fire for being racist.

In fact, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty has announced a new lawsuit against an internship scheme run by the Wisconsin State Bar's "Diversity Clerkship Program," which is based on the racism involved in DEI practices.

"When the government discriminates based on race, it sows more divisions in our country and violates the Constitution in the process," explained Skylar Croy, an associate counsel for WILL. "WILL is standing up against discrimination and holding the state bar accountable to the rights of its dues-paying members."

The issue is that state bar dues are mandatory for Wisconsin lawyers, and the program blatantly discriminates based on race, which offends the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.

So WILL's client in the case is required to pay for "this internship program" and "other programs and communications that discriminate against him and thousands of other Wisconsin attorneys."

The client, Daniel Suhr, said, "Internships are competitive—as they should be. But when one group is given preferential treatment over the other to apply for these programs, the programs lose competitiveness and hurt all Americans. This also goes against my beliefs entirely. The state bar should do better and expand these opportunities to all Wisconsin law students."

WILL reported some that some of Wisconsin’s largest companies, law firms, and government agencies participate in the "Diversity Clerkship Program," including Fiserv, GE Healthcare, Northwestern Mutual Insurance, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, Alliant Energy, Froedtert Health, Kohler Company, the City of Madison, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The discrimination is run by the University of Wisconsin, "which has recently been involved in a public dispute with the legislature over its DEI program."

WILL said the program is in violation of the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

"Judge Carl Ashley, who has promoted the program on behalf of the bar, even stated that he was aware diversity programs like Diversity Clerkship Program could face legal challenges," WILL noted.

In the Supreme Court ruling, the justices said "colleges and universities may no longer use race as a factor in admissions. This practice, commonly called 'affirmative action,' was declared unconstitutional … "

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