Liberal California lawmakers passed a law requiring companies in the state to put female directors on their boards, but it was struck down in “the second legal setback in as many months for efforts to mandate board diversity” reports The Wall Street Journal.
The law required all public companies headquartered in California to have “at least two or three women on their boards by 2021, depending on the size of the board.” Penalties would be enacted for those who did not abide.
Conservative group Judicial Watch challenged the mandate on behalf of three California residents. Judge Duffy-Lewis wrote in her 23-page verdict that “the plaintiff’s evidence is compelling” but rejected the state’s argument that the lawsuit was premature because penalties or threatened prosecution had not yet occurred.
“The court eviscerated California’s unconstitutional gender quota mandate,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.
WSJ wrote about similar cases:
Last month, another judge in the same state court struck down a law that required public companies in California to have at least one racially, ethnically or otherwise diverse director by 2021. Judge Terry Green said that law improperly mandated heterogeneous boards and must protect the right of individuals to equal treatment. That lawsuit was also backed by Judicial Watch.
Other litigation challenges a Nasdaq listing requirement approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2021. That provision requires companies to disclose board diversity details starting in August and, starting in 2023, to include on their boards at least one director who identifies as female, as a member of an underrepresented ethnic or racial minority, or as lesbian, gay, transgender or queer. By 2025, boards must include two such directors. Companies can sidestep the board membership requirement if they disclose why they have done so.
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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