Joshua P. Thompson

Director of Legal Operations Sacramento

Joshua Thompson directs the legal operations at Pacific Legal Foundation, where he works on hiring, developing talent, setting and tracking litigation goals, managing attorneys, and doing all he can to make PLF’s litigation operate smoothly.

Joshua joined PLF as an attorney in 2007. His litigation practice has covered all PLF subject areas with a particular focus on equality and opportunity. Joshua argued PLF’s 13th case before the United States Supreme Court, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, where the court ruled that a California regulation that allowed union organizers onto private property violated the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. Other litigation highlights of his include ending a decades-long racial quota in Hartford, Connecticut, lifting a ban on boys’ dancing in Minnesota, and vindicating an entrepreneur’s right to start a moving business in Kentucky.

Joshua’s writings have been published by the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. And his research has been published in journals such as Texas Review of Law & Politics, Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review, Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development, and Northern Illinois University Law Review. He has appeared on national television and radio, including PBS Newshour, NPR’s All things Considered, Stossel, and Univision.

Joshua earned his BA with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a triple major in political science, international relations, and German. He earned his JD cum laude from Michigan State College of Law where he was on the law review and trial practice institute. Joshua lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and three children.  He loves playing chess and rooting for Wisconsin sports teams.

McKinney v. Vilsack

Race-based COVID-19 farm loan forgiveness denies equal treatment to Texas farmer

Jarrod McKinney began his farming journey about eight years ago with help from a federal loan for beginning farmers. Like many farmers in the Texarkana region, Jarrod raises cattle, tending today to 60 pairs. Like many farmers facing economic hardship in the pandemic’s aftermath, Jarrod was hopeful when he heard about a farm loan forgiveness ...

cedar_point-Nursery Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Supreme Court affirms property rights for California fruit growers

Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company are California growers that produce fruit for millions of Americans. Collectively, they employ around 3,000 Californians. In 2015, the United Farm Workers (UFW) viewed the workers as ripe for the picking and sent union organizers to storm the workplaces during harvest time to encourage them to unionize ...

AFEF v. Montgomery County Public Schools

Parents fight racial balancing efforts that deny educational opportunities

Montgomery County Public Schools is Maryland’s largest public school district and one of the best in the state, with a robust magnet program for gifted and talented students. The district recently changed its admissions criteria for magnet programs at four middle schools ostensibly to make the programs more “equitable.” But the ch ...

First Amendment lawsuit filed in federal court Ogilvie v. Gordon

California’s DMV strays from its own lane to act as speech police

To Chris Ogilvie’s military friends, he’s known as OG—a nickname stemming from boot camp. To his friends back home, Chris is known as Woolf. So, upon his honorable discharge following four tours overseas including Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army veteran bought a car and applied for a personalized license plate spelled “OGWOOLF.&# ...

Board room Creighton Meland Jr. v. Shirley N. Weber, Secretary of State of California

Fighting California’s discriminatory woman quota law

Last year, California enacted a woman quota law, which requires all publicly traded companies that are incorporated or headquartered in the state to have a certain number of females on their boards of directors. This law ignores that women are making great strides in the boardroom without a government mandate, and therefore perpetuates the myth tha ...

Kotler Case Kotler v. Webb

California’s next frontier as speech police: your license plate

Jon Kotler is a First Amendment professor at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also a huge fan of the London-based Fulham Football Club and a longtime season ticket holder. Wishing to celebrate the team’s recent success, Jon applied for a personalized license plate with the letters “COYW,” which stands for “ ...

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October 13, 2021

Despite a pandemic and excess local regulation, food truck owner Mark Shirley refuses to abandon his dream

No one ever starts a business with the intent to fail. But thanks to Farmville, North Carolina's new food truck regulations, one man's burgeoning business stands in jeopardy. It takes a great deal of courage to leave your established career and follow your bliss, but that is exactly what Mark Shirley did. For years, Mark ...

October 07, 2021

Malibu is refusing to abide by California’s new housing laws, and one family is suffering as a result

For the entirety of Elizabeth Riddick's life, her mother Renee has been her rock. Whether she was supporting Elizabeth through her divorce or helping her purchase a home in Malibu, California, Renee has been there for her daughter through thick and thin. When Renee, now 82, began to develop severe health issues, Elizabeth sprang into ...

October 06, 2021

Real Clear Policy: Minnesota’s unjust home equity theft must end

While Minnesota is often called the land of 10,000 lakes, local governments today treat it as the land of 10,000 takes. Between 2014 and 2020, Minnesota counties took thousands of homes and millions of dollars in savings from residents struggling to pay their tax bills. This was unjust and unconstitutional. Consider the story of Ms. ...

October 06, 2021

When are T-shirts considered prohibited electioneering?

Elections end, but T-shirts can live forever. Until last week, Texas law prohibited voters from wearing an Obama or Reagan T-shirt in polling places, even when neither past president was on a present ballot. In fact, the law prohibited voters from wearing anything that an election worker deemed "electioneering" for or against any candidate, politic ...

October 05, 2021

Capital Press: Supreme Court should guarantee property owners their due process rights

The free, non-harmful, and productive use of private property is a cornerstone of the American Dream. And proper regulation, to prevent harmful uses of property, is consistent with this principle. But government agencies too often abuse their regulatory authority. They issue compliance orders, drag landowners through seemingly endless administrativ ...

October 04, 2021

Bureaucrats can’t ignore presidential appointments

Have you ever wondered what happens when a lame duck president appoints someone to a position that extends into the next president's term? Typically, once the new president takes office, he can remove appointees of past administrations and replace them with people he believes will advance the policy agenda of the White House. But what ...

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