Five residents of Asheville, North Carolina, filed a federal lawsuit against the city Tuesday alleging racial discrimination based on the demographic quota system used to select membership to its Human Relations Commission.

The five residents argue that the city refused to appoint them to the HRC because they are white. Initially suing the city earlier this month, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint Tuesday, retaining the Pacific Legal Foundation as counsel.

“The opportunity to serve your local community should not depend on your race,” PLF attorney Andrew Quinio said in a press release. “Asheville’s candidates for public service should be treated as individuals, instead of mere members of arbitrary racial groups. Asheville needs to stop making assumptions about people’s experiences and qualifications based on arbitrary and offensive racial classifications.”

Asheville created the HRC in 2018 to “promote and improve human relations and achieve equity among all citizens in the city by carrying out the city’s human relations program,” according to its website. The lawsuit notes the commission sought to “prioritize racial equity.” (Excerpt from the Washington Examiner.)


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