The Pacific Legal Foundation sued Gov. Kay Ivey last week in federal court over a requirement for two members of the Alabama Real Estate Appraisers Board (AREAB) to be racial minorities.  

Under Alabama law, AREAB is comprised of nine members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor. Seven members must be real property appraisers (one from each of Alabama's congressional districts), one must be a representative of an appraisal management company, and one must be a member of the public who does not do real estate appraisal work. From its enactment in 1990, the statute creating AREAB required two of the nine board members "shall be of a minority race."

Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the American Alliance for Equal Rights in the lawsuit.

The American Alliance for Equal Rights is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nationwide membership organization based in Austin, Texas whose mission is to challenge racial classifications and racial preferences in America, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the public or "at large" member position on AREAB is currently vacant and has been since November 2021. There are currently fewer than two racial minorities on AREAB. 

An unnamed Prattville resident identified as Alliance "Member A" in the lawsuit is listed as someone currently barred from serving on the board due to state law.

"She is not a member of any racial minority group and does not identify as a racial minority. Member A is a staunch believer in and advocate for the importance of both public service and protecting constitutional rights, including property rights," Glenn Roper, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, said in the lawsuit. "So long as this racial quota remains in place, members of the Alliance who are not racial minorities will never receive equal consideration for openings on AREAB."

Member A is not a racial minority and is ineligible for the open position on the real estate appraisers board, according to Roper. 

Roper asks the court to declare the racial mandate in violation of the equal protection clause and a "permanent prohibitory injunction forbidding the Governor and her agents from enforcing, or attempting to enforce, the racial mandate."

"Alabama has a strong tradition of citizens offering their unique talents to serve on government boards or commissions. Sadly, Alabama governors are sometimes required to discriminate based on a candidate's race when making appointments to state boards, commissions, and committees," Roper said in the lawsuit. The Alabama Real Estate Appraisers Board (AREAB) is one such board. AREAB regulates, licenses, and investigates real estate appraisers to ensure they meet the high standards of the profession. However, Alabama law requires the Governor to consider the race of potential board members when making appointments to AREAB and to exclude from consideration anyone who will not satisfy AREAB's racial quota of at least two members "of a minority race." Such blatant racial discrimination against individuals who could otherwise sit on AREAB serves no legitimate government purpose. It is demeaning, patronizing, un-American, and unconstitutional."

Lawsuit Real Estate Appraisers by Caleb Taylor on Scribd

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