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Lawsuit challenges “racial quota” for Alabama Real Estate Appraisers Board

AREAB is responsible for licensing and regulating real estate appraisers statewide.

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Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) to stop what it alleges is Alabama’s unlawful racial quota for appointments to the Alabama Real Estate Appraisers Board (AREAB). 

AREAB is responsible for licensing and regulating real estate appraisers statewide. It has nine members who are appointed by Alabama’s governor. But state law also demands a racial requirement: at least two AREAB members must be racial minorities. 

There is presently one opening on the board for a public member, and the statute requires the governor to consider race when appointing a person to that opening. At least one interested member of the AAER, is automatically disqualified for that opening because of her race.  

“It’s wrong for the government to make offensive assumptions about people’s experiences and qualifications based on race. And it’s unconstitutional to exclude some citizens from public service with arbitrary race quotas,” said Glenn Roper, senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. 

Edward Blum, president of AAER, added, “There are unfortunately dozens of government boards and commissions that exclude people because of their race or ethnicity. No one’s race should be used to include them, or exclude them, from service on government boards.” 

new report released by PLF found instances in 25 states where such unconstitutional discrimination has been codified for boards and commissions. PLF is working to defeat race and sex board quotas in Alabama and everywhere else the unconstitutional practice is used. 

Represented by PLF at no charge, AAER is fighting back. Its federal lawsuit challenges the Board’s race-based membership quota as violating the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. A victory would ensure that all candidates can compete equally to serve on the Board, regardless of race. 

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The case is American Alliance for Equal Rights v. Kay Ivey and was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. 

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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