Quality Integrated Education for All Children
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Who is Pacific Legal Foundation and What is Robinson v. Wentzell?

Wednesday October 3, 2018

Who is Pacific Legal Foundation? 

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is a conservative law firm based in California and Washington D.C. According to its website, PLF has been involved with numerous cases in many states that have hurt people of color and that attack progressive policies, including:

    • reversing school integration;
    • attacking affirmative action;
    • ending Bilingual education;
    • dismantling universal healthcare;
    • ending environmental protection; and,
    • resisting renters’ rights.


PLF’s major goal is to end policies that ensure racially diverse schools, colleges and universities. PLF has been involved in numerous lawsuits attacking programs that help Black and Latinx students get into competitive colleges and universities.

  • In 2014, PLF filed a brief in support of Abigail Fisher, a white woman who challenged the University of Texas’s affirmative action policies. Texas’s policies have increased the number of Black and Latinx students enrolling in state colleges. In 2016, the US Supreme Court rejected PLF’s arguments.


  • In 1996, PLF defended a California state law that ended affirmative action. PLF won the case and counts this win as one of its crowning achievements. After PLF successfully defended California’s law, the number of Black and Latinx students admitted to California universities dropped dramatically.

What is Robinson v. Wentzell?

PLF is bringing its fight against racial diversity in schools to Connecticut. PLF recently filed a case (Robinson v. Wentzell) attacking Connecticut’s efforts to integrate our schools. If successful, PLF’s case will not result in better opportunities for children of color. Instead, PLF’s efforts will erode the gains made with magnet schools and will return us to a separate and unequal school system.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and ACLU have filed an intervention to oppose PLF in the case.


What Can we do to Protect Connecticut Children’s Right to a Quality Integrated Education? 

Take action! Make your voices heard:

  • Contact your lawmakers and candidates for office to make sure they know that integrated education is a critical issue to Connecticut voters. For an email outline and information on how to contact your lawmakers, click here.
  •  Write a letter or op-ed article to a local news outlet. Share why integrated schools are important to you, your family, and your community, and urge others to oppose policies that turn back the clock on progress. For tips on writing an  op-ed, click here. For tips on writing a letter to the editor, click here.
  • Attend court hearings and show support. When students, parents, educators and community members show up in support of Connecticut’s integrated schools, it shows the court that this issue will have real impact on the lives of families. For the latest info on upcoming Robinson v. Wentzell hearings, see the right hand sidebar.
  • Share information and organize in your community. Host a potluck or meeting with your neighbors to talk about what is happening and why their help is needed to protect integration. Present to your school SGC or PTO. Hold a letter-writing party. The Sheff Movement Coalition can provide support and materials to help. Contact rgary@sheffmovement.org.


Print and share an informational flyer about PLF and the Robinson v. Wentzell case here.


Upcoming Robinson v. Wentzell hearings:

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

4:00 pm

Brien McMahon Federal Building

915 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT