More seats are open to more people on the Madison Police Civilian Oversight Board.
The city’s common council on Tuesday night eliminated a racial quota from the board.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said it looks forward to settling its lawsuit against Madison now that the Oversight Board ordinance has changed.
WILL represents Madison resident, David Blaska, who applied for the Board but is ineligible for nine of the eleven seats because of his race.
In September 2020, the City of Madison enacted an ordinance, Madison General Ordinance § 5.20, that requires four members of the Police Civilian Oversight Board to belong to the following specific racial groups: “African American,” “Asian,” “Latinx,” and “Native American.” The Madison Common Council then added another racial quota requiring “at least 50% Black members.”
“The City of Madison has not identified a compelling government interest that would justify racial quotas. The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection requires governments – at all levels – to treat citizens as individuals, not members of a group or racial class,” WILL wrote in a statement about the reversal.
WILL initially objected to the Police Civilian Oversight Board’s quotas back in January 2021, the group sued Madison over the Oversight Board in June of last year.