The case filed by a Duke Law applicant who didn’t take the Law School Admission Test and sued the Law School has been dismissed a few months after it was filed.
But the plaintiff wasn't quite done.
After Judge Richard Andrews of the U.S. District Court of Delaware dismissed the lawsuit, plaintiff Edward Thomas Kennedy filed a motion asking the judge—an appointee of former President Barack Obama—to recuse himself from the case. Why? Kennedy cited "birtherism"—the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Africa—in his motion for recusal, arguing that the Andrews' impartiality was suspect.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke, called the case a “frivolous nuisance suit" in an email to The Chronicle.
The judge dismissed the case in late November for "failure to state a federal claim," adding that there was no factual basis to believe that Kennedy could amend the suit to make a federal claim.
When asked for comment, Kennedy wrote “absolutely no! merry christmas!” in a message to The Chronicle.
Kennedy, who applied to more than 20 American law schools, also sued multiple other institutions, including Harvard University, the Law School Admission Council and the Association of American Law Schools. In the now-dismissed lawsuit, Kennedy specifically named Duke University, the Duke Endowment and the Board of Trustees, as well as the president of the Duke Endowment and President Vincent Price.
Kennedy didn’t take the LSAT—administered by the Law School Admission Council—because it is “junk science,” according to his original complaint. The LSAT is based on ideology, not science, and is administered by radicals who “ignore our law, our history, our culture, ethics and probably all of western civilization law,” Kennedy wrote in his original complaint.
In his complaint, Kennedy argued that the defendants, including Duke, had "exceeded [their] jurisdiction by allowing [their] employees" to deny him from their law schools, which kept him in “constructive financial imprisonment.” Duke Law withdrew Kennedy’s application because it viewed his application as incomplete without an LSAT score, according to his complaint.
Kennedy brought the lawsuit under nine causes of action, which ranged from failure to provide a republican form of government and false advertising to intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In his complaint, he asked for $500,000 in damages from each defendant or $1,000 per day of unlawful behaviors from each—whichever would be larger—in addition to other requests. In the introduction to the complaint, he dedicated the lawsuit in the memory of former First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt.
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Managing Editor 2018-19, 2019-2020 Features & Investigations Editor
A member of the class of 2020 hailing from San Mateo, Calif., Ben is The Chronicle's Towerview Editor and Investigations Editor. Outside of the Chronicle, he is a public policy major working towards a journalism certificate, has interned at the Tampa Bay Times and NBC News and frequents Pitchforks.