California’s Democrat-controlled state government has spent recent years enacting laws that enshrine identity politics and radical progressive policies in every part of the state’s day-to-day life at the expense of dealing with crime, homelessness, and other problems. A state court acted earlier this month to strike down yet another of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s “woke” quota rules.
Judicial Watch obtained an order from Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis in Los Angeles County declaring a 2018 state law requiring women members of corporate boards to be in violation of the state constitution.
The law required in 2018 that every publicly held corporation with headquarters in California must have at least one member of its board of directors who “self-identifies her gender as a woman.” By 2019, corporate boards with five members were obligated to have two women directors. By the beginning of this year, boards of six or more directors were required to have at least three women members.
The case filed by Judicial Watch alleged that the state rule is in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the state’s constitution. Because the law required an absolute quota system that applies to private organizations, the public interest firm claimed that it was presumptively invalid.
The type of discrimination the law requires calls for “strict scrutiny” when being reviewed by a court. That means the state has the burden of showing that the law serves a “compelling public interest” and accomplishes its objective in a “narrowly tailored” way. The judge found that the state failed to show either requirement.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement following the ruling that the court “eviscerated California’s unconstitutional gender quota mandate.” He noted the case marks the second time a court has struck down state quotas for corporate management. Fitton said the loss for the radical leftists running the state government is a “another stinging defeat.”
Judicial Watch won a similar victory last month when a California state court invalidated a state law requiring quotas based on race and sexual identity on corporate boards. That law was also invalidated on Equal Protection grounds. That law required board representation by members of “underrepresented communities,” meaning racial or ethinic minorities or LGBTQ membership.
The judge in that case said the law treats otherwise similarly situated “qualified potential corporate board members” differently under the law based on immutable racial characteristics or membership in sexual orientation or gender identity groups. By requiring only certain persons be eligible for a certain number of seats, all others are unlawfully excluded.
The two cases won by Judicial Watch show that Californians can reject Democratic woke identity politics to protect all residents of the Golden State, without regard to how they look.