Richmond, VA; May 23, 2023: Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to equality before the law, tossing out a lower court’s ruling that Fairfax County school officials violated the Constitution when they changed admissions requirements to achieve a balance among the races of attendees of the highly acclaimed Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ).

“We are disappointed by today’s ruling, but we are not discouraged,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Erin Wilcox. “Discrimination against students based on their race is wrong and violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. We look forward to asking the Supreme Court to end this illegal practice once and for all.”

The lawsuit challenges the school’s admissions process, which aims to reduce the number of Asian American students admitted to TJ and increase students of other races, in the name of “racial equity.” The Fourth Circuit’s ruling means a third incoming class at TJ will now be subjected to the unconstitutional admissions process.

The case is Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board.


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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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