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).

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 “ ...

Connecticut Parents Union v. Wentzell

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 ...

Lent v. California Coastal Commission

Massive—and unconstitutional—beach access fines threaten family home

In 2016, the Lents received the California Coastal Commission’s first ever fine—$4.185 million—for blocking public access to the beach. The home sits 20 feet above the beach and, without stairs or a ramp, the public cannot safely get to the beach. The property originally included an outdoor stairway and a gate to block the large drop—bo ...

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 co ...

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 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 State High School League—whose bylaws declare competitive dance a “g ...

Freddie Linden banned from Dance 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& ...

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