A corporate boardroom
A corporate boardroom. Photo via Pixabay

A judge in Los Angeles has found that a California law mandating publicly traded companies include people from underrepresented communities on their boards is unconstitutional, ruling in favor of a conservative group seeking an injunction against the measure.

Superior Court Judge Terry Green granted summary judgment to Judicial Watch on Friday. The conservative legal group had argued the law violates the equal protection clause of California’s constitution.

The brief ruling did not provide Green’s reasoning behind the decision.

Assembly Bill 979, passed in 2020, required that publicly traded companies with a main office in California appoint at least one member of the Asian, Black, Latino, LGBT, Native American, or Pacific Islander communities to their boards by the end of 2021 through either filling a vacant seat or creating a new one.

“This historic California court decision declared unconstitutional one of the most blatant and significant attacks in the modern era on constitutional prohibitions against discrimination,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

California’s governor, secretary of state, and attorney general did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The law intends to give minorities a voice within powerful corporations, Gov. Gavin Newsom said when he signed it.

Judicial Watch has also sued over an earlier law that required corporate boards to have at least one female member.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.