Trent England | August 24, 2021
Is CRT coming to Oklahoma law schools?
The American Bar Association (ABA) is a private, left-leaning organization based in Chicago and Washington, DC. Yet it has tremendous power across the country, including in Oklahoma. Much of this power comes from accrediting law schools—controlling who can teach law and who can become an attorney or judge. Now the ABA is flexing those muscles to push law schools to use racial quotas and add Critical Race Theory (CRT) into the curriculum.
In a series of proposed changes to accreditation standards, the ABA goes so far as to suggest that law schools circumvent state constitutions or laws. “The requirement of a constitutional provision or statute that purports to prohibit consideration of race … in admissions or employment decisions is not a justification for a school’s non-compliance….” This appears targeted at Oklahoma and seven other states that ban racial discrimination in state government, including state-run educational institutions.
Basically, the ABA would put a gun to the head of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and demand that it educate fewer white students, hire fewer white faculty, and require all students to attend (and pay for) at least two CRT-style indoctrination courses.
But wait, why does the ABA have any power over OU’s law school? That is because the Oklahoma Bar Association, acting on behalf of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, requires all attorneys in the state to have attended an ABA-accredited law school.
There are two possible solutions.
- Eliminate the requirement for attorneys to attend an ABA accredited law school. Other states already do this, including California. Oklahoma could either establish its own alternative accreditation agency for in-state law schools, set basic academic standards without an accreditation requirement, or impose no law school requirement at all. Again, there are other states that use these methods.
- Pass a state law banning any accreditation agency from operating within Oklahoma if it advocates racial discrimination in any form.
In fact, there is no reason for Oklahoma not to pursue both of these. No Oklahoma schools should be pushed into racist admissions policies by accreditation agencies.
And law school is not the only way to learn the law—just ask Kim Kardashian.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.