It appears to be easier. I also wouldn't say people who get dismissed are 'dummies' per se. Getting a bad grade can happen to anybody- it certainly happened to me in Torts. The thing is to keep plugging along and making sure you learn from your mistakes and not perform poorly multiple times.
The curve also gets relaxed for all non-required courses. After the 1st year you are allowed to take electives, select easier professors, etc. Certainly, having the top students leave also helps. Almost zero people get dismissed after the first year, but you have to be soo careful even as a 3rd year. I would be sleeping a lot better prior to exams if I had the luxury of a 'bad' grade being a 3.0- like many top schools who indulge in grade inflation arising out of pressure to keep a prestigious image.