Joshua P. Thompson

Director of Legal Talent Sacramento

Joshua Thompson is Pacific Legal Foundation’s Director of Legal Talent. His practice has covered all of PLF’s practice areas with a particular focus on Equality Before the Law.

Joshua joined PLF as an attorney in 2007 after graduating cum laude from Michigan State College of Law. In law school, he was an assistant editor of the Michigan State Law Review and a member of the Trial Practice Institute. During law school Joshua clerked at the Federalist Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Wisconsin Public Defender. He was a Charles Koch Summer Fellow in 2005.

Joshua’s belief in liberty began while working in his father’s restaurant. It was furthered during his time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with distinction with a triple major in political science, German, and international relations. Ultimately, his desire to work for a freer society was crystallized during a Fulbright year in Germany, where he read and studied as much libertarian and free market texts as he could find.

Joshua married a PLF attorney in 2013. They have two young children. In his sparse free time he plays chess (competently), guitar (poorly), and follows Wisconsin sports teams (depressingly).

cedar_point-Nursery Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Fruit growers ask the Supreme Court to restore the right to turn away union trespassers

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 v. Alex Padilla, 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 “ ...

CTPU Case Connecticut Parents Union v. Cardona

Race-based quotas in Connecticut schools hurt Black and Hispanic students

Each year, world-class magnet schools in Connecticut deny admission to thousands of deserving children while leaving available seats empty—because of skin color. State law requires magnet schools’ enrollment to be at least 25 percent white or Asian. This means Black and Hispanic students are turned away if their admission would push minorit ...

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April 15, 2021

The Wall Street Journal: Schools offer empty words to Asians

The horrific murders in Atlanta last week inspired an outpouring of support for Asian-Americans. "An attack on any group of us is an attack on all of us—and on everything we represent as an institution," Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said in a statement. "To Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in our community: We stand ...

April 14, 2021

Can the government force you to get a vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the greatest advancements of medical science ever. But while the vaccine represents a welcome key to finally overcoming COVID-19, it has also renewed the questions surrounding government's involvement in our health. Confusion and debate around vaccine eligibility or "vaccine passports" all lead to one central question ...

April 12, 2021

Orange County Register: Much ADU about nothing

There are only three bad things about Accessory Dwelling Units. The first two are (1) the name, and (2) the acronym. Why does every good normal thing have to be given an anodyne cover name when it gets discussed in public policy? ADU is a code name for in-law apartments, granny flats, over-the-garage apartments, and ...

April 09, 2021

There are better ways to house people than by banning evictions

A common government response to the pandemic has been to freeze evictions to keep people housed. While these moratoria may be attractive on the surface, this shortsighted tactic will only constrict access to affordable housing. There are better paths forward. Pacific Legal Foundation has challenged several of these eviction moratoria in court (see ...

April 08, 2021

Arizona Capitol Times: It’s past time to rein in governor’s emergency powers

In late January 2020, Arizona logged its first recorded Covid infection. Just over six weeks later, the pandemic had spread so widely that Gov. Doug Ducey declared a statewide emergency. As we've passed the anniversary of that emergency declaration, it's worth reflecting on what we've learned from the extraordinary events of the last year. One ...

April 08, 2021

Can the police enter your house and take your stuff without a warrant?

Can the police enter your home and confiscate your weapons without a warrant? That's the question the Supreme Court is getting ready to decide in Caniglia v. Strom. But the answer won't be found in the Second Amendment. Instead, the Court will consider whether the police violated a Rhode Island man's Fourth Amendment right against ...

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