Washington, D.C. — Boyden Gray & Associates and the Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment welcomed a landmark ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California holding that AB 979 — a California law mandating racial diversity quotas for corporate boards — violates the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. “AB 979 is unconstitutional on its face and Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment in its favor as a matter of law,” the Court concluded. 

“The Court made clear that California’s attempts at racial engineering are per se unlawful; the Constitution prohibits diversity mandates in every circumstance,” Michael Bushbacher, Boyden Gray partner, said. “The Court also put private companies on notice by concluding that AB 979 violates the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which applies to both state and private discrimination. Woke corporations that impose diversity mandates on their own are thus just as liable.”

“Racial diversity quotas are not only unconstitutional — they are immoral. Businesses should appoint board members based on their merit, not on their skin color,” Edward Blum, director of the Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment, said. “I am pleased by the Court’s decision and hope this sets a precedent in future cases of ESG overreach.”

This is the latest effort in Boyden Gray’s fight against efforts across the nation to impose progressive politics on American boardrooms. Just a few weeks ago, the firm led a lawsuit against the SEC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, seeking to hold the agency accountable for helping Kroger engage in viewpoint discrimination. The court recently ordered the SEC to stand down while the lawsuit continues. The same court is likewise considering a challenge Boyden Gray brought for the Alliance against Nasdaq’s similar board quotas.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Boyden Gray & Associates is a premier law and strategy firm, providing clients with advice and representation on matters of constitutional and administrative law, regulatory policy, and international affairs. Located only blocks from the White House, the firm builds on the distinguished work of its founder, C. Boyden Gray.