AUSTIN, Texas (Legal
Newsline) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Dec. 29 that his office has filed an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit challenging racial and sex-based
quotas for board membership on the State Bar of Texas.
According to the lawsuit, the
board of directors of the Texas Bar unconstitutionally requires four minority
member directors. Austin attorney Greg Gegenheimer. a white male, alleges he is being
discriminated against on the basis of race and sex because he is not eligible
for an open position on the board.
position seeks “female, African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American,
or Asian-American” members of the bar. Gegenheimer’s lawsuit is based on the
U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
“This is really not a difficult case,” Paxton said. “The courts have made clear that the use of racial and
sex-based quotas by the government in situations like this is blatantly
unconstitutional. Leadership positions should be available to all state bar
members based on their merit, not their skin color, ethnicity or sex.”
Paxton’s office filed the amicus
brief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Paxton
urges the court to invalidate the quota system on the grounds of constitutionality.