Ralph W. Kasarda
Staff Attorney, National Litigation Center
Ralph Kasarda joined Pacific Legal Foundation in July 2007. His primary legal interests are individual rights. He devotes the majority of his time to working on cases in PLF's Equality Under the Law Project.
Mr. Kasarda successfully defended California's ban on racial preferences, Proposition 209, by drafting and filing appellate briefs and presenting oral argument in Coal. to Defend Affirmative Action v. Brown, before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He also successfully argued against North Carolina's use of racial preferences in public contracting in H.B. Rowe Co., Inc. v. Tippett, before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is currently litigating against California's use of racial qualifications for the selection of public officers in Connerly v. State of California. He continues to author and coauthor briefs against the government's use of race for filing in courts around the country, including the United States Supreme Court.
Selected ongoing and past cases:
- Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens In Action, Inc. (United States Supreme Court considering whether the Fair Housing Act allows discrimination claims under a theory of disparate impact)
- Fisher v University of Texas (United States Supreme Court held a university receives no deference when arguing that its use of race in admissions is narrowly tailored to the compelling interest of diversity; coauthored with Joshua Thompson)
- Associated General Contractors, San Diego Chapter, v. California Dept. of Transportation (challenge to California's use of race preferences in public contracting)
- American Civil Rights Foundation v City of Oakland (successful challenge to racial preferences in public contracting at the Oakland Airport)
- Cleveland Construction, Inc. v. City of Cincinnati (whether the City of Cincinnati was liable for damages when its race-based contracting program violated the United States Constitution)
- Farrakhan v. Washington (Ninth Circuit held felons could not challenge state felon disenfranchisement law under the Voting Rights Act using a disparate impact discrimination theory)
- Corboy v. Louie (whether the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, which allows Hawaii to grant tax-exempt homestead leases on the basis of race, violates the Equal Protection Clause)
Affirmative Action Gone Haywire: Why State Laws Granting College Tuition Preferences to Illegal Aliens Are Preempted by Federal Law, 2009 B.Y.U. Educ. & L.J. 197 (2009); Why Courts Must Subject Municipalities to Constitutional Tort Liability Under Section 1983 When Unconstitutional Race & Sex Based Preference Statutes Deprive an Otherwise Lowest Qualified Bidder of a Public Contract, George Mason U. Civil Rights L.J, Vol. 19 (2009).
Mr. Kasarda received his B.A. in Physical Science and concentration in meteorology from San Francisco State University in 1981. He then served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and left active duty in 1993. He received his Master of Arts in Education from George Mason University in 1994, and taught high school earth science and geography in Virginia. He returned to school and graduated from the Golden Gate University School of Law where for his academic excellence he received merit scholarships his final two years, and the Environmental Law Award.