Hartford, Connecticut: March 14, 2019: Today in Robinson v. Wentzell, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut rejected the state’s and intervenors’ motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court held that the case belongs in federal court and therefore rejected the state’s attempt to have the case heard by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The intervenors’ attempt to kick the case to the state trial court was also rejected. In addition, the court ruled that strict scrutiny applies to these overt racial classifications and that the Hartford plaintiffs have standing to challenge both the racial quota and the lottery.

PLF senior attorney Joshua Thompson released the following statement in response to the court’s decision:

“This is a very big day for our clients. Upon hearing the news, LaShawn Robinson, our lead plaintiff, didn’t know whether to rejoice or cry. Both the state and Sheff intervenors tried to have this case thrown out of court on a variety of grounds. The court rejected all of them. While this is only the first battle in what is sure to be a long fight, we are committed to defending our clients’ right to equal protection of the laws as far as we need to.

“Your skin color should not determine your eligibility for a quality school. After today’s decision, LaShawn, Natalie, Tynima, Juhaira, Juan, and all of our clients can rest assured that they will have their day in court.”

More information can be found at pacificlegal.org/hartford.


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About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 18 wins of 20 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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