California, the state always on the bleeding edge of wokeness, has decided to start mandating that companies have a certain number of femaleson boards of businesses in the state. That diversity quota rule was mandated by a 2018 law requiring that:
This bill, no later than the close of the 2019 calendar year, would require a domestic general corporation or foreign corporation that is a publicly held corporation, as defined, whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation’s SEC 10-K form, are located in California to have a minimum of one female, as defined, on its board of directors, as specified. No later than the close of the 2021 calendar year, the bill would increase that required minimum number to 2 female directors if the corporation has 5 directors or to 3 female directors if the corporation has 6 or more directors. The bill would require, on or before specified dates, the Secretary of State to publish various reports on its Internet Web site documenting, among other things, the number of corporations in compliance with these provisions. The bill would also authorize the Secretary of State to impose fines for violations of the bill, as specified, and would provide that moneys from these fines are to be available, upon appropriation, to offset the cost of administering the bill.
That quota does include someone “who self-identifies her gender as a woman,” according to The Daily Caller. So perhaps California boards could still be all-male. A similar bill established diversity quotes for California companies.
Well, thanks to Judicial Watch, Californians have been given a temporary, at least, reprieve from the wokeness. Judicial Watch, reporting on its success in the courts, said:
Judicial Watch announced today that the California Court of Appeal has upheld two injunctions against California quota requirements for corporate boards. Earlier this year, two California trial courts had found (here and here) unconstitutional state quota mandates for sex, race, ethnicity, and LGBT status. On December 1, 2022, the California Court of Appeal denied (here and here) two separate emergency requests by the California Secretary of State to lift the injunctions.
“The California courts again have upheld the core American value of equal protection under the law. Judicial Watch’s taxpayer clients are heroes for standing up for civil rights against the Left’s pernicious efforts to undo anti-discrimination protections. Judicial Watch’s legal team has helped protect the civil rights of every American with these successful lawsuits,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch filed a gender quota lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2019 on behalf of three California taxpayers. The lawsuit challenged a 2018 law, Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), which mandated every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors. Judicial Watch successfully argued that the quota for women on corporate boards violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution. In May 2022, after a 28-day trial, the Superior Court delivered its verdict finding that “S.B. 826’s goal was to achieve general equity or parity; its goal was not to boost California’s economy, not to improve opportunities for women in the workplace nor not to protect California taxpayers, public employees, pensions and retirees.”
In 2020, Judicial Watch filed a separate taxpayer lawsuit challenging Assembly Bill 979 (AB 979), which Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law on September 30, 2020. The bill mandated boards of directors of California-based, publicly held domestic or foreign corporations to satisfy racial, ethnicity, sexual preference and transgender status quotas.
Despite those losses, Gavin Newsom is pushing through more wokeness in the state. Recently, for example, he signed a bill into law that establishes a task force to determine what reparations should be paid to blacks in the state. Speaking on that at the time, Newsom said:
“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions. California’s rich diversity is our greatest asset, and we won’t turn away from this moment to make right the discrimination and disadvantages that Black Californians and people of color still face. While there is still so much work to do to unravel this legacy, these pieces of legislation are important steps in the right direction to building a more inclusive and equitable future for all.”
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