On Friday (May 13th), Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis handed down an order declaring California Senate Bill 826 unconstitutional. The bill was aimed at mandating the breaking of glass ceilings by requiring women to be on corporate boards across the state. Judicial Watch filed the case in August of this year. The following information is from Judicial Watch's website:
The ruling comes after an identical decision in Judicial Watch's favor earlier this month, finding California's diversity requirements for corporate boards to be unconstitutional.
Judicial Watch filed the gender contingent lawsuit at Los Angeles County Superior Court in the year 2019, for California taxpayers Robin Crest, Earl De Vries, and Judy De Vries. The lawsuit is a challenge to a 2017 law named Senate Bill 826 that requires each publicly-owned company with its headquarters in California to have at minimum one person “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on the board of directors before December 31st in 2019. This law requires companies to have a minimum of three directors on their boards before the end of 2021, depending on what size the company's board is. Judicial Watch argued that the female quota on corporate boards is in violation of The Equal Protection Clause in the California Constitution.
The state's argument for the bill's legality was based on its ability to correct existing discriminatory hiring practices at the board level. City News Service via the Antelope Valley Times:
In their court documents, lawyers representing the Attorney General's Office argued that plaintiffs couldn't prove that any wasteful or illegal spending of taxpayer money took place during the execution of the law's regulations.
Former state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, co-author of SB 826, testified at the trial. Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, has said previously that it's “disappointing that this conservative right wing group is more invested in spending thousands of dollars on a questionable lawsuit than supporting policy that improves business' profits and boosts our economy.”
However, plaintiffs lawyer Robert Patrick Sticht criticized Jackson frequently during his final argument, claiming she could not provide an answer to a few of his questions, like whether there were gender neutral alternatives to SB 826.
The man who approved the bill did so without acknowledging the potential of the bill, and is now realizing the consequences.
When the governor passed SB 826 to law in the year 2018, the then-Governor Jerry Brown noted that there were “numerous objections to this bill and serious legal concerns that have been raised,” and he said he would never “minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation.”
The bill illustrates an open-minded mindset that is not limited to California that is kind of vapid in that it is instituting measures that don’t actually help anyone. In the process of increasing women's participation at the corporate level, it doesn't help by requiring inclusion regardless of qualifications. It starts at the base. The wise company seeks out and cultivates talent within its own. An employee who is well-versed in the mission of the business and its methodology is the most valuable asset a company can have. Gender isn't a factor to consider in the job selection process, either for good or bad. White knights wearing aluminum foil armor in the name of businesswomen do no good to anyone. In the world of capitalism, the top businesses and their employees are famous for their achievements. The most effective anti-discriminatory route the government can follow is to get off the road. However, playing the role of a faith healer who visited the blind man and took them to the lame side is the best way for the government to do it.