Joshua P. Thompson

Senior Attorney

Sacramento

Joshua Thompson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in August 2007. He primarily litigates cases involving equality under the law, economic liberty, school choice, and coastal land rights.

Joshua was raised in a small northern Wisconsin town known as the Home of the Hodag.  [Google it.] While in high school, he was a Rotary Exchange Student in Germany.  He attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was first introduced to the liberty movement.  He worked in the Wisconsin Governor’s Office during college and was active in both the College Republicans and College Libertarians – all five of them. After college he worked on his father’s gubernatorial campaign, before heading off to Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. Before his flight Germany, Joshua was given a copy of Atlas Shrugged, which, being the only English book he had that year, was read approximately 500 times.

After his Fulbright year, Joshua attended law school at Michigan State University, where he graduated cum laude, served on the Michigan State Law Review and Trial Practice Institute, was active in the Federalist Society, and played guitar in the law school band.  During his first law school summer he was a Charles Koch Summer Fellow where he clerked at the Federalist Society and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  The second summer he clerked at the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. Those experiences solidified his desire to fight for individual liberty, and he has been able to fight for individuals’ freedom at PLF ever since.

When he’s not fighting for liberty, Joshua spends most of his time with his wife and baby daughter. He also supports all Wisconsin sports teams, enjoys traveling to see friends in Germany, and he hopes to soon become a National Master in chess.

Joshua Thompson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in August 2007. He primarily litigates cases involving equality under the law, economic liberty, school choice, and coastal land rights.

Joshua was raised in a small northern Wisconsin town known as the Home of the Hodag.  [Google it.] While in high school, he was a Rotary Exchange Student in Germany.  He attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was first introduced to the liberty movement.  He worked in the Wisconsin Governor’s Office during college and was active in both the College Republicans and College Libertarians – all five of them. After college he worked on his father’s gubernatorial campaign, before heading off to Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. Before his flight Germany, Joshua was given a copy of Atlas Shrugged, which, being the only English book he had that year, was read approximately 500 times.

After his Fulbright year, Joshua attended law school at Michigan State University, where he graduated cum laude, served on the Michigan State Law Review and Trial Practice Institute, was active in the Federalist Society, and played guitar in the law school band.  During his first law school summer he was a Charles Koch Summer Fellow where he clerked at the Federalist Society and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  The second summer he clerked at the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. Those experiences solidified his desire to fight for individual liberty, and he has been able to fight for individuals’ freedom at PLF ever since.

When he’s not fighting for liberty, Joshua spends most of his time with his wife and baby daughter. He also supports all Wisconsin sports teams, enjoys traveling to see friends in Germany, and he hopes to soon become a National Master in chess.

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Personal Liberties

Christa McAuliffe PTO v. de Blasio

Stopping New York’s attempt to discriminate against Asian-American students

Feeling that New York City’s eight specialized high schools contain too many Asian students, Mayor Bill de Blasio is changing an admissions program to limit the ability of students to get into predominately Asian-American schools. However, his so-called racial balancing effort will squeeze out Asian students—nearly three-quarters of whom come from low-income families. On behalf of Yi Fang and a number of Asian-American parents, the Asian-American Coalition for Education, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, and the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization, the plaintiff filed a federal lawsuit challenging the mayor’s unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.

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Personal Liberties

D.M. & Z.G. v. Minnesota State High School League

Discrimination dance: “Girls only” school dance team is unconstitutional

When 16-year-old Dmitri Moua discovered dancing, he also found a new way to be a part of a team, and build his self-confidence. But when he wanted to join his high school’s competitive dance team, he was denied because he is a boy. Dmitri’s school is in the Minnesota High School League—whose bylaws declare competitive dance a “girls only” sport. On behalf of Dmitri, Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality.

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Personal Liberties

Linden v. South Dakota High School Activities Association

School’s “girls-only” dance team policy is a constitutional hustle

Fifteen-year-old Freddie Linden of North Sioux Falls, South Dakota can now lace up his dancing shoes as part of his school’s competitive dance team. The accomplished dancer already competes nationally on private dance teams, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) established competitive dance as a “female-only” sport and prohibited Freddie from joining his high school team—because he is a boy. The rule is a misguided effort to comply with federal Title IX requirement that violates Freddie’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws. Less than a month after PLF filed a federal lawsuit on Freddie’s behalf, the SDHSAA suspended its discriminatory rule for the upcoming school year, and will consider a permanent rule change in the coming months. Freddie has since made the school dance team for the upcoming school year—topping all scores at team tryouts.

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Op-Ed

Fight to keep boys off Minnesota dance teams is a losing battle

Originally published by Star Tribune, November 21, 2018 Minnesota is historically known as a progressive state. But if you’re the parent of a high school dancer, you can be excused … ›

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Op-Ed

Putting an end to a new era of school segregation

Originally published by The Hill, July 8, 2018. It’s a shameful and heartbreaking mental image from the past: minority children being turned away at the schoolhouse door, denied an opportunity … ›

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Post

By Joshua P. Thompson

Government is blocking Black kids from great schools while seats sit empty

In February, eight Black and Hispanic families filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Connecticut State Department of Education’s race-based enrollment quotas for Hartford’s magnet schools. This policy mandates that 25% of a … ›

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By Joshua P. Thompson

Answering the Minerva Dairy questions at Overlawyered

If you aren’t already a regular reader of Overlawyered, you should check it out. Walter Olson does a magnificent job pointing out and explaining the seen and unseen costs of … ›

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Post

By Joshua P. Thompson

Opening brief filed in challenge to Wisconsin’s butter taste test

We filed our opening brief in the appeal to our challenge to Wisconsin’s irrational butter grading law. I have written about this case a number of times, but the essence … ›

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Op-Ed

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Racial discrimination is alive and well in St. Louis schools; now let’s end it

Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 11, 2018. If you thought school segregation was a thing of the past, guess again. The practice of denying educational opportunities to African-American … ›

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