Medical Association Sues Red State Over Race Quotas On Government Boards

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An association of medical professionals filed a lawsuit against Tennessee Wednesday over a requirement that one member of each government licensing board be a racial minority.

One of the two seats that opened on Tennessee’s Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners in June must be reserved for a racial minority. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a lawsuit challenging the requirement on behalf of the medical organization Do No Harm, which has “one or more members who are qualified, willing, and able to be appointed to the Board of Podiatric Examiners, if the racial mandates were enjoined,” according to the complaint.

“Such blatant racial discrimination against individuals who could sit on Tennessee’s Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners serves no legitimate government purpose,” the lawsuit states. “It is demeaning, patronizing, un-American, and unconstitutional.” (RELATED: Conservative Group Highlights Two More Law Firms As Potential Litigation Targets Over Race-Based Fellowships)

Under state law, the governor is required to ensure at least one member of each government board is a racial minority. Republican Tennessee Gov. William Lee is named as the defendant in the lawsuit.

“No one should be precluded from serving their local community because of a characteristic that they have no control over,” Laura D’Agostino, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Race and sex-conscious quotas are codified as part of board membership requirements in 25 states, according to a report by PLF.

“Our hope with this lawsuit is that we drive home the point, once again, that every person should be evaluated as an individual and appreciated for their own individual merits and qualities,” she said. “We really want to take a stand against government viewing people on the basis of a group identity.”

PLF also filed a case earlier this year challenging a racial quota on the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board. The Arkansas state legislature later passed a statute repealing the racial quota.

“State medical boards are given important responsibilities to oversee the quality of care in their state and the safety of patients. It is crucial that they be the most qualified physicians available,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, board chair of Do No Harm, said in a statement. “Like all aspects of healthcare, patient safety and patient concerns should be primary, not the skin color or the racial makeup of any oversight committee.”

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