What We Fight For

Equality Before the Law

Every person should be treated equally before the law.

It’s central to our country’s values and the rule of law more generally. Historically, some of the worst violations of equal protection involve classifications by race or gender. It is unjust for the government to discriminate among its citizens, providing some more and others less liberty based on irrational classifications.

Our Equality Before the Law Practice includes:

Fighting Racial Discrimination in Public Education, Public Employment, and Government Contracting

Our country’s history has clearly shown that government cannot be trusted with treating people differently on the basis of race. PLF opposes all forms of racial preference by government, both overt and covert.

Jarod Thompson was a denied a seat in a Connecticut magnet school because he’s black. That is the definition of discrimination. The state’s policy is that at least 25% of students attending their world-class magnets must be white or Asian, leaving empty seats that could otherwise be filled by students like Jarod. His mother and several other black and Hispanic families are fighting the racial quota denying their children educational opportunities.

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Ending Policies That Give Benefits or Burdens Based on Gender

Favoring one gender over another also fails to treat people as individuals. Gender-based civil rights laws, like Title IX, are abused when they are interpreted to permit or require gender discrimination. We believe that the correct way to enforce civil rights law is to prohibit rather than encourage gender discrimination.

16-year-old Dmitri Moua just wanted to participate in his high school’s dance team, but was banned because he is a boy. With PLF, he challenged Minnesota’s girls-only policy and won the right to compete in dance competitions.

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Enforcing State Bans on Discrimination

Several states, including California and Washington, have banned racial discrimination. But governments have tried to undermine those bans and sneak in policies that use race in their decision-making. PLF defends these laws in court when they are undermined or challenged.

PLF defeated challenges to the California Civil Rights Act in High Voltage Wire Works v. City of San Jose (2000). The California Supreme Court ruled that however it is rationalized, a preference to any group constitutes inherent inequality.

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