Baton Rouge; January 4, 2024: Today, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Do No Harm, an association of medical professionals, to stop Louisiana’s unlawful consideration of race in appointments to the state medical board.

In Louisiana, medical practitioners fall under the purview of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. The board’s ten members must meet certain standards of residency, licensing, experience, and non-criminality.

Another requirement, however, has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with stifling equality before the law; four of the board slots have a racial mandate.

“The Louisiana Legislature cannot disqualify individuals from public service because of their race,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Laura D’Agostino. “Race quotas are unjust, demeaning, and unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. Treating people according to immutable characteristics like race violates the very notion of equality before the law.”

State law requires Louisiana’s governor to appoint all medical board members, and in 2018, state lawmakers added the racial quota to the board’s makeup. Since then, the governor has been forced to consider race when making medical board appointments.

A new report released by PLF found instances in 25 states where such unconstitutional discrimination has been codified. Without action, the problem is likely to worsen. Pacific Legal Foundation is working to defeat race and sex board quotas in Louisiana and everywhere else the unconstitutional practice is allowed.

The case is Do No Harm v. John Bel Edwards filed in U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana.


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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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