Law On Chopping Block After Woman Denied Position Based On Sex

Montana’s requirements that are in place for the top medical board could be on the chopping block following a recent lawsuit that a medical watchdog group filed against the state’s Republican governor.

A public interest law firm, Pacific Legal Foundation, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Montana Governor Gregory Gianforte this week. It was filed on behalf of a medical activist organization called Do No Harm.

The law firm is representing a woman who’s affiliated with the DNH organization who has been barred from applying to be on the Montana Board of Medical Examiners because of requirements that are based on sex.

According to a press release sent out by the DNH, the PLF is alleging that this is in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

The Board of Medical Examiners in Montana is the agency tasked with issuing medical licenses, with the governor having the responsibility of confirming members to its board.

In deciding who to appoint to the board, the DNH says the governor must “take positive action to attain gender balance and proportional representation of minorities resident in Montana to the greatest extent possible.

According to state law, that requirement was adopted as part of the rules more than 30 years ago.

But, in the press release, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, who serves as the DNH’s chairman, said:

This type of discriminatory mandate is unconstitutional and represents the politicization of healthcare that is dangerous for patients. Expertise should be the primary determining factor for these appointments, and Montana must get rid of discriminatory practices to refocus on medical excellence.”

Caleb Trotter, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation said that Montana’s requirement that the governor must consider both the gender and race of all candidates to the medical board “is demeaning, patronizing, un-American and unconstitutional.”

He said by forcing that onto the governor, it “treats individuals as faceless members of a group based on their immutable characteristics.”

Over the last few years, policies that are based on race, gender and other characteristics for education and for hiring have come into question.

Last summer, the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to race-based admissions at higher education institutions in the U.S., when it ruled that it was unconstitutional for colleges and universities to consider race and gender in admissions practices.

In the case, the high court ruled that the admissions programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The final vote in the case involving UNC was 6-3, and the final vote in the Harvard case was 6-2.

As a result of that decision, many businesses began to reconsider scholarships they gave out that were based on sex and/or race.

The Montana law might fall under that same umbrella, which would mean that the state wouldn’t be allowed to consider gender, sex and/or race for members of the state’s Board of Medical Examiners.