Illinois legislation would mandate corporate board quotas

The Illinois House has passed a bill “to require every publicly traded corporation headquartered here to include at least one woman and one African-American on its board of directors. The Senate version calls for a Latino as well. Corporations that fail to meet the quota would be fined up to $100,000.” Terrible bill, as well as a good way to discourage businesses from headquartering in Illinois. University of Chicago law professor Todd Henderson expects that if the bill passes courts will strike it down as unconstitutional [Chicago Tribune editorial] More: Hans Bader.


  • (e) As used in this Section:
    (1) “African American”means a citizen with at least partial Sub-Saharan African ancestry and who self-identifies as being African American.
    (2) “Female” means an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.

    Interesting how you can be female just by saying so, but to be African American, you need to say so *and* actually have ancestry from the right part of Africa.

    And topic this jogged my memory. Back when I was in college, the students’ union had diversity requirements for the delegates. At the time I thought it was dumb. I still think such things are dumb, but now I’m wondering if that was even legal.

    • 2 is easy to beat then. Just have one of the existing board members self identify as female. Done.

      • The concept of gender fluidity makes it even easier. “While serving on this board, or taking actions related to it, to include any census activities related to corporate hiring practices, I self identify as female. At all other times, I self identify as male.”

  • I have African American ancestry.

    We all do.

  • Good board members are worth a lot. $100,000 might be little enough to continue hiring by whatever methods are already in place and just pay the fine. Or would that mean the companies are agreeing to the terms of the law?