California Law Mandating Female Quotas on Corporate Boards Judged Unconstitutional, In Victory For Judicial Watch
“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.”
The bad times for super-feminists continues.
A Los Angeles judge has just ruled that the California law requiring women on corporate boards is unconstitutional.
Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis said the law that would have required boards have up to three female directors by this year violated the right to equal treatment. The ruling was dated Friday.
The conservative legal group Judicial Watch had challenged the law, claiming it was illegal to use taxpayer funds to enforce a law that violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution by mandating a gender-based quota.
The 2018 law required publicly traded corporations based in California with five members on their boards to have at least one female member by the end of 2019. In response to the passage of the measure, Judicial Watch filed the gender quota lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, on behalf of California taxpayers, Robin Crest, Earl De Vries and Judy De Vries.
The judge eviscerated the law, and Judicial Watch scored a major victory as it stated in a press release.
In the Court’s 23-page verdict, the Court specifically found 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.”
Further, the Court found that “putting more women on boards demonstrated that the Legislature’s actual purpose was gender-balancing, not remedying discrimination.” “There is no Compelling Governmental interest in remedying discrimination in the board selection process because neither the Legislature nor Defendant could identify any specific, purposeful, intentional and unlawful discrimination to be remedied,” Judge Duffy-Lewis said.
“The Court eviscerated California’s unconstitutional gender quota mandate. This is the second California court decision finding that quotas for corporate boards are unconstitutional. The radical Left’s unprecedented attacks on anti-discrimination law has suffered another stinging defeat,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“Thankfully, California courts 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.”
This measure was doomed to be a spectacular failure from the start. Even then-Governor Jerry Brown thought the measure was dubious, and only signed it because of the #MeToo frenzy.
A study found that female representation on corporate boards in California, just 15.8% in 2018, had more than doubled by the end of last year. But then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the bill into law, issued an accompanying statement saying “serious legal objections” had been raised that “may prove fatal” to the measure, and his warning was borne out in is first test in court.
“The Legislature’s actual purpose was gender-balancing, not remedying discrimination,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis said Friday. She said the state, in defending the law, had failed to offer evidence that corporations had discriminated against women in selecting board members. Instead, she said, the usual causes were a lack of open board seats and the inclination of boards to choose someone they already knew, such as a corporation’s chief executive.
In fact, the then-Attorney General realized the law was utterly unenforceable.
Although the law carried potential hefty penalties for failing to file an annual report or comply with the law, a chief in the secretary of state’s office acknowledged during the trial that it was toothless.
No fines have ever been levied and there was no intention to do so, Betsy Bogart testified. Further, a letter that surfaced during trial from former Secretary of State Alex Padilla warned Brown weeks before he signed the law that it was probably unenforceable.
“Any attempt by the secretary of state to collect or enforce the fine would likely exceed its authority,” Padilla wrote.
How many hours of legislative energy was put into this law by both the state Assembly and the Senate? How many essential priorities for California were ignored for a chance for state politicians to posture in the #Metoo area?
Fortunately, a serious-minded judge has mercifully killed a sexist and senseless measure. That is a rare feat in California. Judicial Watch and California businesses have scored a major win with this decision.
The full judicial verdict can be found HERE.DONATE
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