(The Center Square) – A federal lawsuit claims Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz uses “blatant discrimination” and affirmative action in appointing members of the Minnesota Board of Social Work.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, in its lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of two anonymous members of the American Alliance for Equal Rights, says the board mandates five of its 15 members must come from a “community of color” or “an underrepresented community.”

“State law requires Minnesota’s governor not only to appoint all social work board members to four-year terms, but also to consider race when making appointments and deny opportunities for some qualified citizens to competently serve the public based on no reason other than their race,” PLF said.

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Neither Walz nor the social work board returned an email from The Center Square seeking comment.

The two who filed the suit want to apply for the board but cannot because they are white, PLF claims. AAER’s president, Edward Blum, was a key litigant in the June 2023 Supreme Court case Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College.

“Treating people differently according to immutable characteristics like race violates the very notion of equality before the law,” PLF said in a statement. “People should be treated as individuals, not as members of a group they did not choose.”

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