Parents Sue to Stop New York’s Attempted Discrimination Against Asian-American Students

A federal lawsuit filed today by Pacific Legal Foundation targets New York City Mayor Bill de Blasios thinly veiled attempt to racially balance specialized high school enrollment. Right now, the citys Discovery program admits a small number of students to these world-class public high schools. The lawsuit alleges the mayor plans to expand the program in a way that would shut out hundreds of eligible Asian-American studentsintentionally.

Yi Fang Chen moved to the United States from China with her parents in 1996. She eventually earned her doctoral degree from Stanford University and now has two young children of her own.

We all have the American dream of equal opportunity. I was able to achieve what my parents came to this country for, Yi Fang explains. But by using race preference to determine student enrollment at these excellent schools, its like the mayor is taking someone elses dream away.

Yi Fang and a number of Asian-American parents, the Asian American Coalition for Education, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, and the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization, represented by Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), have asked a federal judge to stop the proposed Discovery program expansion from taking effect.


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New York City shouldnt determine who gets the opportunity to attend public schools if its motivated by racial purposes, says PLF attorney Joshua Thompson. Such race-based decision-making violates the Constitutions equal protection guarantee and has been shot down at the U.S. Supreme Court numerous times. We look forward to challenging Mayor de Blasios unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in federal court.

Read more about the case at

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 39 states plus Washington D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 11 victories out of 13 cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Collin Callahan
Media Relations Manager
[email protected]