A conservative think tank is suing California to block a law that will force race, gender and sexual orientation quotas on corporate boards of publicly held companies located in the state.
The suit, National Center for Public Policy Research v. Weber, was filed against California Secretary of State Shirley Weber Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
The free market think tank argues that AB 979 perpetuates discrimination by treating people based on fixed characteristics rather than individual merits. Specifically, the law requires that all publicly held companies headquartered in California must meet a quota of female board members or be fined. Beginning in 2022, the law will extend to board quotas based on race and sexual orientation.
In late 2020, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill to advance what he called "racial justice" in his state, saying that in addition to discussing "empowerment" and "power," we also need to "talk about seats at the table."
Rejecting the idea that government should be used to enforce diversity, the NCPPR objects that "these diversity quotas apply to all businesses across every industry in perpetuity, regardless of whether there is any specific evidence of discrimination."
NCPPR is being represented by the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation.
Prior to assuming her new role in January of this year, Weber served as a member of the state assembly, where she advocated for AB 3121, a law that created a task force to develop proposals over the next several years to pay reparations to black Americans for the enslavement of their ancestors.