Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: Challengers’ Argument In Fulton Could “Require Governments To Allow All Manner Of Discrimination”

WASHINGTON – Following oral argument this morning in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Constitutional Accountability Center Appellate Counsel Ashwin Phatak had the following reaction:

The First Amendment does not prevent a city government from prohibiting discrimination against same-sex couples in its foster-placement program. Indeed, the Court’s precedents make clear that the government has substantial leeway to run its own foster-placement program as it sees fit, and that is especially so to achieve an important governmental interest like prohibiting discrimination. Moreover, as a number of questions in today’s argument revealed, the consequences of holding otherwise would be profound and potentially require governments to allow all manner of discrimination—on bases as varied as race, sex, or religion—by government contractors. Neither the Constitution nor the Court’s precedents provide any support for going down that road.



CAC’S case page in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, including our brief on behalf of First Amendment scholars:

“The Fate of Anti-Discrimination Laws Lies With the Supreme Court,” CAC Blog, Becca Damante, August 21, 2020:


Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at


More from Civil and Human Rights