Montana’s Race And Sex-Based Requirements For Key Medical Board Are Unconstitutional, Lawsuit Alleges

A medical watchdog sued the Montana governor Tuesday over race and sex-based requirements for the state’s top medical board.

The lawsuit was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a public interest law firm, on behalf of Do No Harm (DNH), a medical activist organization, in the United States District Court for the District of Montana Helena Division against Republican Montana Gov. Gregory Gianforte. The PLF is representing an unidentified woman affiliated with DNH who cannot apply to the Montana Board of Medical Examiners due to the sex-based requirements, which PLF alleges violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, according to a DNH press release.

The Montana Board of Medical Examiners is the medical licensing board in the state, and the governor confirms members to the board, according to DNH. When making appointments to the board, the governor is required to “take positive action to attain gender balance and proportional representation of minorities resident in Montana to the greatest extent possible,” a requirement adopted over 30 years ago, according to Montana law.

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