June 29, 2021

Board Gender Diversity: 9th Cir. Okays Challenge to California Statute

Cooley’s Cydney Posner recently blogged this update on the status of litigation challenging California’s 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. 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.”

Cydney’s blog also provides an overview of the potential constitutional issues raised by the California statute and the background of the litigation.

John Jenkins