Good news! A California court authorized our taxpayer lawsuit to move forward against a California law that mandates gender quotas for corporate boards. The court held
that our clients have standing to sue under state law, and our attorneys will now proceed to discovery, including depositions of various officials.
This action comes in the case (Robin Crest et al. v. Alex Padilla
(No.19ST-CV-27561). We filed the lawsuit
on August 6, 2019, on behalf of three California taxpayers to prevent the State from implementing Senate Bill 826. The 2018 law requires publicly held corporations headquartered in California to have at least one director "who self-identifies her gender as a woman" on their boards by December 31, 2019. Up to three such persons are required by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board.
Our lawsuit alleges that the mandate is an unconstitutional gender-based quota. In our complaint we argue:
- SB 826 is illegal under the California Constitution. The legislation's quota system for female representation on corporate boards employs express gender classifications. As a result, SB 826 is immediately suspect and presumptively invalid and triggers strict scrutiny review.
Even before the bill passed, a California Assembly floor analysis identified a "significant risk of legal challenges" to SB 826. It characterized the legislation as creating a "quota-like system" and noted:
- [T]his bill, if enacted into law, would likely be challenged on equal protection grounds ... The use of a quota-like system, as proposed by this bill, to remedy past discrimination and differences in opportunity may be difficult to defend."
- In signing SB 826 in September 2018, then-Governor Brown wrote that, "serious legal concerns have been raised" to the legislation. "I don't minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation." He signed the bill anyway, noting, "Nevertheless, recent events in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message."
Currently, 625 publicly traded corporations are headquartered in California and are subject to the legislation's provisions. In a March 2020 report
the secretary of state identified 282 corporations that reported compliance with the law's requirements.
We are pleased that the court saw through California's flimsy claim that taxpayers had no standing to sue to stop this brazenly unconstitutional gender-quota law. Even Gov. Brown, in signing the law, worried that it is unconstitutional. Our California taxpayer clients are stepping up to make sure that California's Constitution, which prohibits sex discrimination, is upheld.
Judicial Watch and Daily Caller News Foundation Sue for Joe Biden's Senate Records at University of Delaware
We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation against the University of Delaware for former Vice President Biden's Senate records, which are housed at the university's library (Daily Caller News Foundation v. University of Delaware
(No. N20A-07-001)). We sued in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.
Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller filed requests on April 30 for all of Biden's records and for records about the preservation and any proposed release of the records, including communications with Mr. Biden or his representatives. The university said it would not release the records until two years after Biden has retired from public life.
Our April 30, 2020, FOIA request seeks:
- All records regarding the proposed release of the records pertaining to former Vice President Joe Biden's tenure as a senator that have been housed at the University of Delaware Library since 2012. This request includes all related records of communication between the University of Delaware and any other records created pertaining to any meeting of the Board of Trustees during which the proposed release of the records was discussed.
- All records of communication between any representative of the University of Delaware and former Vice President Biden or any other individual acting on his behalf between January 1, 2018 and the present.
On April 30, the Daily Caller News Foundation submitted its FOIA request to the University seeking:
- All agreements concerning the storage of more than 1,850 boxes of archival records and 415 gigabytes of electronic records from Joe Biden's Senate career from 1973 through 2009.
- Communications between the staff of the University of Delaware Library and Joe Biden or his senatorial, vice-presidential or political campaign staff, or for anyone representing any of those entities between 2010 [April 30,2020] about Joe Biden's Senate records.
- Any logs or sign-in sheets recording any individuals who have visited the special-collections department where records from Joe Biden's Senate career are stored between 2010 to the date of this request.
- All records from Joe Biden's Senate career that have been submitted to the University of Delaware Library.
On May 20, the University denied the Daily Caller News Foundation's request.
In response to both requests, the University claimed, without corroboration, that public funds are not used to support the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Senatorial Papers.
Tara Reade, who has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she worked as a staff assistant to the then-senator, has said
that she believes a workplace discrimination and harassment complaint she filed against Biden at the time may be in the records housed at the University of Delaware. Biden also admitted to communicating with Vladimir Putin
and other foreign leaders when he was a United State Senator.
"The University of Delaware should do the right thing and turn over Joe Biden's public records as required by law,"
Daily Caller News Foundation Co-Founder and President Neil Patel said. "Partisan gamesmanship by a public university is unseemly and unlawful. If they don't want to do the right thing, we will force them in court."
He's right. The University of Delaware should stop protecting Joe Biden and provide the public access to his public records, as Delaware law requires.