ICYMI: Democratic AGs Respond to GOP AGs’ Letter to Fortune 100 Companies

July 19, 2023

Washington, DC – Today, a group of Democratic Attorneys General responded to a letter sent by Republican AGs to Fortune 100 companies that threatens action against hiring practices that promote a diverse workforce. The Washington Post first reported on their response, writing, “On Wednesday, a group of 21 Democratic attorneys general sent their own letter to the Fortune 100, urging the companies to ‘double-down on diversity focused programs because there is still much more work to be done.’”

Washington Post: The campaign against affirmative action shifts to corporate America

  • “The Democrats condemned the GOP’s letter, saying it had a ‘tone of intimidation’ that ‘purposefully seeks to undermine efforts to reduce racial inequities in corporate America.’ And while legal experts called the Republicans’ argument dubious, many worry that the growing clamor could have a chilling effect on corporate efforts to counter generations of discrimination.”
  • “In their letter Wednesday, the Democratic attorneys general noted that the corporate diversity efforts cited by the Republicans set recruiting goals and ambitions — not official company policy or quotas — and therefore are permissible under current law.”

POLITICO: Dem state lawyers: Republicans trying to ‘intimidate’ corporations on diversity efforts

  • “The Democrats’ letter said that while they agree companies should face legal consequences for ‘unlawful’ discrimination, the Republicans were making a ‘baseless assertion that any attempts to address racial disparity are by their very nature unlawful.’”
  • “Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings called it ‘a flagrant double standard. They’re all for free markets when it comes to wages, poverty, worker safety, health care, the environment — and the list goes on.’”

Bloomberg Law: Democratic AGs Pledge Legal Cover for Companies’ Diversity Goals

  • “But the Democratic attorneys general defended corporate DEI initiatives and countered that the Supreme Court decision has no influence on the hiring practices of private companies. The Republican letter is a ‘baseless attempt to intimidate private companies,’ Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell said on the call with reporters.”
  • “‘It’s important that for those of us who believe deeply in equity and inclusion, that we let the good corporate citizens of this country know that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and that we will fight for equity and inclusion across this land,’ Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings told reporters.”

 The Messenger: Democrat Attorneys General Rip GOP Counterparts on Diversity Hiring Warning

  • “‘Those Republican AGs laid out a series of thinly disguised threats against companies who have made diversity a priority in their hiring and contracting practices,’ said Nevada AG Aaron Ford who led the Democratic response on a video press conference.”

Reuters: US companies’ diversity efforts are legal, Democratic officials say

  • “‘There is no corporation I’m aware of that promotes quotas or openly discriminates based on a number,’ New York Attorney General Letitia James said. James and the other AGs said they wanted to make clear to companies that their states support diversity efforts and will not take legal action to dismantle them.”

Crain’s Chicago Business: Kwame Raoul, other AGs denounce letter warning Fortune 100s against diversity efforts

  • “Following a letter issued by 13 Republican attorneys general warning America’s biggest companies from using race-based hiring practices, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and five other Democratic AGs responded today, calling the letter “audacious” and ‘inaccurate.’ Raoul and other AGs from Delaware, Nevada, Minnesota, New Mexico and New York announced today that they are issuing a letter of their own pushing back against claims that common efforts to diversify workplaces violate state or federal discrimination laws in light of the U.S. Supreme Court recently striking down affirmative action in college admissions.”


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