Sacramento, California; November 22, 2021: A California law requiring shareholders of publicly traded companies to vote for board members based only on race or sexual orientation was challenged today by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a shareholder advocacy organization. AB 979 requires corporate boards to have a minimum number of members from “underrepresented communities,” meaning people of certain races or sexual orientations. It follows on the heels of SB 826, which requires boards to have a minimum number of women.

“California’s quota doesn’t remedy discrimination, it perpetuates it,” said Anastasia Boden, senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “This law forces shareholders to cast votes based on immutable characteristics that people were born into. The government should treat people as individuals, not based on immutable characteristics.”

In 2019, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s “woman quota” for corporate boards and received a victory at the Ninth Circuit, which ruled that shareholders have standing to challenge these quotas.

The case, National Center for Public Policy Research v. Weber, was filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of California.


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About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 18 wins of 20 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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