The Volokh Conspiracy

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Columbia Law School Posts, then Retracts, Video Statement Requirement for Applicants


Aaron Sibarium reports for the Free Beacon:

"All applicants will be required to submit a short video, no longer than 90 seconds, addressing a question chosen at random," the school's admissions page said Monday morning. "The video statement will allow applicants to provide the Admissions Committee with additional insight into their personal strengths."

Critics slammed the move as a thinly veiled attempt to defy the Supreme Court's ruling and practice affirmative action by other means, using appearance as a proxy for race. Columbia's decision "has all the hallmarks of a willful effort to evade the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act," said Edward Blum, the founder of Students for Fair Admissions, the plaintiffs in the June case that outlawed affirmative action. "What is a 90-second video supposed to legitimately convey that a written statement could not?"

Reached for comment by the Washington Free Beacon, however, a spokesman for the law school said it had all been a misunderstanding and, by 6:00 PM Monday evening, Columbia had scrubbed the language from its website.