A Los Angeles judge ruled that California’s corporate diversity law is unconstitutional.
The law mandates the corporations diversify their boards with members from certain racial, ethnic, or LGBT groups.
According to ABC News, the brief ruling granted summary judgment to Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that sought permanent injunction against the law last year.
The law requires corporations of publicly traded companies with main offices in California to include members of an “underrepresented community” on its board. This includes LGBTQ, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander.
The judge “declared unconstitutional one of the most blatant and significant attacks in the modern era on constitutional prohibitions against discrimination,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
In court filings, the state argued that the measure didn’t “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
The law signed in 2020 required at least two members to be added or filled seats by the end of 2022 on boards with four to nine directors. Firms could face fines for not complying.
A “Diversity on Boards” report from March showed that about 300/700 corporations complied with the law. Half didn’t file the required disclosure statement. The state continues to defend the law as constitutional, saying it is necessary to reverse a culture of discrimination in the workplace.