Failed Massachusetts bar applicant sues bar examiners over test question on gay marriage

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From the National Law Journal:

A Massachusetts bar examination applicant who claims he failed the test because he didn’t answer a question about homosexual marriage and parenting is suing the test administration agency, the state Supreme Judicial Court and four individual justices for constitutional violations.

In his pro se complaint, Plaintiff Stephen Dunne seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions barring the defendants from considering the question in regard to his application to practice law and from enforcing the question in the current or future bar examinations. Dunne is also seeking a jury trial and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Stephen Dunne v. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, No. 07-11166 (D. Mass.) Dunne claims his score of 268.866 on the November 2006 bar exam just missed the passing score of 270 points because he didn’t follow the prescribed format for an unlawful question about gay marriage. Dunne said the question required applicants to “affirmatively accept, support and promote homosexual marriage and homosexual parenting.” Dunne claims the defendants violated his First Amendment right to exercise his religion and violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. He also claims their actions impose illegal state regulations on interstate commerce.

Supreme Judicial Court spokeswoman said the court couldn’t comment on pending cases.

William F. Kennedy, the chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, which administers the test, also declined to comment.

The complaint is being reviewed, we have no comment at this time,” Kennedy said.

Via Out of the Jungle.

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