A California Superior Court judge declared the law unconstitutional, the second loss for the state on a series of nearly identical equity laws.

The law, originally signed in 2018 by former California Governor Jerry Brown, mandated that corporate boards with at least five directors have a minimum of two female directors by 2021.

Corporations that failed to meet the requirements would face fines of up to $300,000 per violation from the state.

The lawsuit was brought by conversative activist group Judicial Watch on behalf of three California residents, according to the Daily Caller.

The law is remarkably similar to one struck down last month in a separate ruling that mandated racial or ethnic diversity on boards.

Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis wrote in her verdict that the state did not prove the law “meets a compelling interest, is necessary, and is narrowly tailored”.

A spokesperson for California’s Secretary of State said its counsel was reviewing the verdict.

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