Tag: equal protection

New challenge to California board diversity laws

There’s a new case challenging both of California’s board diversity laws. The case, , Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment v. Weber, which was filed in a California federal district court against the California Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, seeks declaratory relief that California’s board diversity statutes (SB 826 and AB 979) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and the internal affairs doctrine, and seeks to enjoin Weber from enforcing those statutes. The plaintiff,  the Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment, is described as “a Texas non-profit membership association,” with members  that include “persons who are seeking employment as corporate directors as well as shareholders of publicly traded companies headquartered in California and therefore subject to SB 826 and AB 979.” Will this case be the one to jettison these two statutes? 

Ninth Circuit allows challenge to California board gender diversity statute to go forward

In Meland v. Padilla, a shareholder of a publicly traded company filed suit in federal district court seeking a declaratory judgment that SB 826, California’s board gender diversity statute, was unconstitutional under the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment.  In April 2020, a federal judge dismissed that legal challenge on the basis of lack of standing. On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit reversed that decision, allowing the case, now called Meland v. Weber, to go forward.  The Court held that, because the plaintiff “plausibly alleged that SB 826 requires or encourages him to discriminate on the basis of sex, he has adequately alleged that he has standing to challenge SB 826’s constitutionality.”

Federal District Court dismisses a challenge to California board gender diversity statute

In Meland v. Padilla, a shareholder of a publicly traded company filed suit in federal district court  seeking a declaratory judgment that SB 826, California’s board gender diversity statute, was unconstitutional under the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment.  A federal judge has just dismissed that legal challenge on the basis of lack of standing. (Update: This case has been appealed to the 9th Circuit.)

Another challenge to California’s board gender diversity law

There’s now another legal challenge to SB 826, California’s board gender diversity statute, filed today in the federal district court in the Eastern District of California. In Creighton Meland v. Alex Padilla, Secretary of State of California, a shareholder of a publicly traded company that is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in California filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the statute is unconstitutional under the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment and a permanent injunction preventing implementation and enforcement of the statute.  A representative of a legal organization contended that the statute “puts equal numbers above equal treatment….This law is built on the condescending belief that women aren’t capable of getting into the boardroom unless the government opens the door for them. Women are capable of earning a spot on corporate boards without the government coercing businesses to hire them.”  This case appears to be the second complaint filed to challenge the new law, the first being, Crest v. Alex Padilla.  (And here is the amended complaint.) As you may recall, Crest, filed in California State Court, was framed as a “taxpayer suit” that sought to enjoin Padilla from expending taxpayer funds and taxpayer-financed resources to enforce or implement the statute, claiming violations of the equal protection provisions of the California constitution.  (See this PubCo post.)