Washington DC; May 15, 2024: Today, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) challenging race-based appointments on Minnesota’s Board of Social Work. 

Government regulatory boards are commonplace for countless professions throughout the country. Minnesota social workers fall under the purview of the Minnesota Board of Social Work, which has 15 members—ten social workers and five members of the public.  

Another requirement of board membership, however, has nothing to do with social work and everything to do with racial balancing: At least five members must also be racial minorities. 

The American Alliance for Equal Rights has at least two members who would like to be considered for the board. However, they aren’t from Minnesota’s preferred race and, as such, are at a significant disadvantage for any of the openings. 

“Minnesota cannot use race to disqualify or disfavor individuals from public service. Race quotas are unjust, demeaning, and unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment,” said Brandon Beyer, attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “People should be treated as individuals, not as members of a group they did not choose.” 

A report released by PLF found instances in 25 states where such unconstitutional discrimination has been codified. Without action, the problem is likely to worsen. PLF is working to defeat race and sex board quotas in Minnesota and all other states where the unconstitutional practice is allowed. 

The case is American Alliance for Equal Rights v. Tim Walz, filed in the U.S. for the District Court of Minnesota. 


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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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