LOS ANGELES (TND) — The California Court of Appeals has upheld the termination of two separate state laws forcing corporate boards to include a certain number of individuals from “underrepresented communities."
The rulings came in response to two lawsuits brought forth by Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit government watchdog, which argued the laws mandating certain gender and racial quotas violated the state’s constitutional protections around discrimination.
“The California courts again have upheld the core American value of equal protection under the law,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Tuesday. “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.”
One law challenged by Judicial Watch, Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), which was passed in 2018, mandated every publicly held corporation headquartered in California have – based on the company’s size – one or more female directors on their boards. If companies were found noncompliant, they could have faced fines of up to $300,000.
In May, following a month-long trial, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis “determine[d] that SB 826 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution.”
“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,” according to the court’s verdict.
Similarly, Judicial Watch sued to strike down California’s Assembly Bill 979 (AB 979), which was passed in 2020. AB 979, much like SB 826, required boards of corporations based in California to meet racial, ethnic, sexual preference and transgender status quotas, or face consequences.
READ MORE: “California law mandating diversity on company boards struck down by judge”
With the state appeals process exhausted, it appears that if lawmakers and activists want to fight to keep these laws alive, they are going to have to take the issue to the federal level.