Do No Harm v. Greg Gianforte

Case Information

Case Name
Do No Harm v. Greg Gianforte
Case Status

Most eligibility requirements on Montana’s state boards are designed to ensure qualified individuals are appointed to serve. However, an individual’s candidacy also depends on factors outside of his or her control, like race and gender. For nearly 33 years Montana governors have been required to consider an individual’s race and gender when making appointments to the 12-member Montana Board of Medical Examiners.

Only one of the 10 filled and unexpired seats on the Board is held by a member of a minority group. To achieve “proportional representation of minorities present in Montana,” the Governor must appoint one member of a minority group to one of the two openings. And, to maintain gender balance in compliance with Mont. Code § 2-15-108(1), the Governor must appoint two men to the current openings.    

Montana MDs who are interested in serving on the Board include a member of Do No Harm, but she would be excluded because of her race and gender. 

Represented by PLF at no charge, Do No Harm is fighting back. Its federal lawsuit challenges the Montana Board of Medical Examiner’s discriminatory membership requirement as violating the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. Its victory would ensure that all eligible candidates can compete equally for any state board, regardless of race or gender.