Texas AG files brief supporting challenge of state bar’s racial and sex-based quota system

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Wednesday, supporting a lawsuit that challenges what he calls unconstitutional racial and sex-based quotas for board membership on the State Bar of Texas.

Currently, the board of directors of the Texas bar expressly requires “four minority member directors.” Austin-based attorney Greg Gegenheimer wants to apply for an open director position on the board, but the bar is only allowing “female, African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American or Asian-American” members to be considered for that position, according to a press release from the AG’s office.

Gegenheimer, who is a white male, argues in his lawsuit that his exclusion amounts to race and sex discrimination in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.

In the amicus brief, Paxton is urging the court to invalidate what he calls an unconstitutional quota system.

“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.”

View a copy of the brief here: texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Amicus_Brief_-_State_Bar_of_Texas.pdf?cachebuster:18