News & Commentary United States

California Judge Knocks Back Woke Quota Law as Unconstitutional

"Like all things woke, the virtue signalling gloss of the feelings-based morality ignores its own oppressors."

Thanks to the efforts of Judicial Watch, a Californian judge has ruled against 2020 AB-979 legislation forcing corporations to have minority group representation on an executive level.

Companies failing to comply with the state-sanctioned “racially and gender diverse” quotas had faced fines of up to $300,000 USD.

The proposals were signed into law by Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, whom the Associated Press quoted as saying, “it was important for minorities to have a voice on the boards of powerful corporations.”

A March 2022 report, from the office of California’s Secretary of State, Shirley Weber, into compliance with the woke “diversity” quota law, revealed that 301 out 716 corporations had “self-reported” applying the law.

Companies listed as implementing the identity politics quota system included Disney, Netflix, Twitter, Mattel, HP, Tesla, VISA, Plantronics, and Apple Inc.

Caldron Pool reported about the new law in July, 2021, describing it as nonsense. California’s 2019 census showed little need for the “affirmative action” legislation, with:

“Men-owned firms counted at 1.85 million, women-owned firms 1.3 million, minority-owned firms amounting to 1.61 million, while non-minority firms were 1.81 million.”

I said at the time:

“The legislation doesn’t appear to take a common-sense reading of the census data into account. While discrimination does no doubt exist, the higher representation of Caucasians doesn’t amount to proof of systemic injustice against minorities. Likewise, a small disparity between men, women, minorities and non-minorities who own/run businesses do not indicate either an epidemic of racism or sexism.”

Adding to this, I wrote:

“The only systemic injustice manifesting itself here comes in the form of the Californian government, whose tenured bureaucrats, are clueless about how affirmative action legislation – which pursues quantity over quality, puts colour over character, and equates melanin with material wealth – oppresses the people equally.”

Judicial Watch are justified in celebrating the win.

In a statement, the conservative group’s President, Tom Fitton said, “This historic California court decision declared unconstitutional one of the most blatant and significant attacks in the modern era on constitutional prohibitions against discrimination.”

Fitton added:

“In its ruling today, the court 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.”

The lawsuit argued that AB 979 – which demands corporations hire a person based on melanin, sexual identity, or minority status – employs tax-payers to finance enforced compliance with a law, which discriminates on the grounds of a person’s racial, ethnicity, sexual preference, and transgender identity.

Plaintiffs ‘contended that any expenditure of taxpayer funds or taxpayer-financed resources on AB 979 is illegal under the California Constitution.’

In the state’s defence, Democrats argued, since ‘no companies have been fined, and thus, no tax dollars had been used to enforce the measure.’ Therefore, the case was much ado about nothing.

Judge Terry Green disagreed, giving no explanation for his decision.

An Associated Press article, called the ruling brief, with the Judge granting ‘summary judgement’ to Judicial Watch’s clients.

By ruling in favour of the Plaintiffs, Judge Green appears to have affirmed the details of their motion, which argued, in sum, ‘the quota system violates article I, sections 7 and 31 of the California constitution.’

According to The Daily Wire, the AB 979 lawsuit is closely related to a contested case over mandated gender quotas, via 2018 Californian legislation known as (Senate Bill) SB 826.

Judicial Watch explained that SB 826:

“Requires every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. The law also requires corporations to have up to three such persons on their boards by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board.”

Defenders of SB 826 claim, ‘one-fourth of California’s public companies still have no women on their boards.’

They alleged, ‘research shows that corporations with female directors outperform those that don’t have female directors.’

Cheerleading, leftist utopians at Politico called SB 826 an ‘ambitious experiment,’ ‘nudging’ companies in the woke direction.

Like all things woke, the virtue signalling gloss of the feelings-based morality ignores its own oppressors.

In 2018, healthcare company executive, David Duvall, was fired for no reason, then ‘replaced by two women; one Black and one white.’

The Daily Wire recounted, Duvall wasn’t the only one:

“The Chief Legal Officer, Medical Group President, Chief Information Officer, Patient Experience Officer and President of Haymarket Medical Centre were all replaced either by a black person or a woman in the 12-18 months after him.”

Duvall successfully sued for damages in 2021, where he was awarded $10 million by a federal jury.

Judge Green’s AB 979 ruling in favour of Judicial Watch is a rejection of arbitrary laws, identity politics, discrimination, and the racist preferential policies of the far-left bureaucratic caste.

To restate Thomas Sowell’s ‘Affirmative Action Around the World‘:

“It’s remarkable how seldom these notions have been tested empirically, or even defined clearly, or examined logically, much less weighed against the large and often painful costs they entail.” (2004, p.198)

The real oppressors are masquerading as the oppressed.