It may have been the most straightforward and common sense petition the Illinois Supreme Court ever received. After Michigan stumbled running a test, bar examinees looking to the October nationwide free-for-all asked if the court could just ask ExamSoft to run a full stress test or two before the big day to make sure it’s not all going to collapse. Read the petition here. They’d also like some sense of the contingency plan if/when the exam falls apart. This should be a no-brainer for the court. At the very least, it should prompt a detailed response laying out alternative remedies that provide substantially similar assurances.
Instead, the Illinois Supreme Court took less than 48 hours to issue a conclusory, “why would we test software?” response.
This should dispel all lingering doubts that the bar exam is anything but a death cult. Its proponents won’t even risk a stress test out of fear that it might interfere with the annual Carousel. And yet people downloading the software are actively freaking out that it’s compromising their computers. Transparency is the only way to rebuild the trust required to even have this exam. It’s actually in the best interests of the bar exam!
Note, the Illinois Supremes also denied a petition in August to grant diploma privilege for JAG officers who must be licensed before they begin duty. That’s as narrowly tailored as requests get and they said no. The devotion to this ritual that has no demonstrable connection to public protection will be the end of us all.
State supreme court justices are elected in Illinois. The display of intellectual laziness over the last couple of weeks should be more than enough reason to mount a campaign to purge the court over the coming years. The bar exam may not be the weightiest issue facing the court but if this is their approach to it, how can they be trusted with anything else?
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.