Washington, D.C.; February 20, 2024: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board, a case that made national news when a group of parents, students, alumni, staff, and community members filed a lawsuit in 2021 to challenge the school’s admissions process, which aimed to reduce the number of Asian American students admitted.

“The Supreme Court missed an important opportunity to end race-based discrimination in K-12 admissions,” said Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney Joshua Thompson. “Discrimination against students based on their race is not only ethically wrong but also a clear violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Schools should evaluate students as individuals, not as groups based on racial identity. That kind of group stereotyping is morally wrong and undermines the American promise of opportunity for all.”

“Today, the American Dream was dealt a blow, but we remain committed to protecting the values of merit, equality, and justice — and we will prevail for the future of our children and for the nation we love and embrace,” said Asra Nomani, co-founder of Coalition for TJ. “For the courageous families who have tirelessly fought for the principles that our nation holds dear, this decision is a setback but not a death blow to our commitment to the American Dream, which promises equal opportunity and justice for all.”

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas disagreed with the majority’s decision to deny certiorari. In a strong dissent, Justice Alito wrote: “What the Fourth Circuit majority held, in essence, is that intentional racial discrimination is constitutional so long as it is not too severe. This reasoning is indefensible, and it cries out for correction.”

Pacific Legal Foundation continues the fight to end race-based discrimination, with active cases in Boston, New York City, and Montgomery County, MD, including filing a cert petition for Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence v. School Committee that will be filed in early spring 2024. Additionally, please look at PLF’s model legislation for ending race-based discrimination in K-12 and university admissions.


Justice Alito's Dissent from Denial of Certiorari
about plf logo

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.

If you are on deadline and need immediate assistance, or need a comment from a PLF attorney, please contact our media team at media@pacificlegal.org.