From Philantrophy Roundtable:
In another strike against board diversity quotas, a California court ruled that a law requiring corporations based in the state to meet certain gender-based quotas violates the equal protection clause of the state constitution. The law, signed in 2018 by former Gov. Jerry Brown, required all publicly-traded companies headquartered in the state to have at least one woman on their board of directors. In April of 2022, a similar bill requiring publicly-traded companies in the state to have at least one person from an “underrepresented community” on their board, was also found unconstitutional by a state judge. Both cases were litigated by Judicial Watch. The dual rebukes of board diversity quotas should serve as a warning for lawmakers considering similar bills in their states or exporting the quotas to the philanthropic sector.
Legally, these rulings bode poorly for attempts to codify racial identity politics into statute. Michael Bekesha of the Judicial Watch told the Roundtable, “… In both cases, the judges determined that the laws did not satisfy strict scrutiny. In part, the courts concluded that California presented little to no evidence that the laws were enacted to remedy specific, individualized discrimination. … The actual purpose of the laws were ‘gender or racial parity’ or ‘gender or racial balancing’ which are not judicially recognized ‘compelling governmental interests.’”
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