Calif. Chief Justice Troubled by Pol’s ‘Offensive’ Comment on Her Attractiveness

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye says she wouldn’t be offended if someone had commented on her appearance at an awards dinner or some kind of celebration.

But she takes issue with comments made by the California Assembly’s majority leader in the context of a substantive hearing on a proposal to decentralize the judicial system, reports the NBC Los Angeles website PropZero.

The Democratic legislator, Charles Calderon, told the committee that his proposal wasn’t intended to reduce the chief justice’s authority. “It isn’t ‘Is she nice?’ ‘Cause she is,” Calderon said. “ ‘Is she smart?’ ‘Cause she is. ‘Is she attractive?’ ‘Cause she is. It isn’t about that.” He has since said he did not intend any disrespect.

NBC Los Angeles caught up with Cantil-Sakauye during a break at a luncheon sponsored by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. “I was troubled by that because that kind of comment came in a substantive hearing,” the chief justice told NBC. “If we are at a dinner, at some sort of celebration and a comment like that was made, that would be different.”

But the comment was made in the context of “a very serious hearing,” Cantil-Sakauye said, in response to a question about why Calderon wanted to take power away from the new chief justice. His answer was “offensive and is not at all responsive,” she said. “So that’s the problem.”

Prior coverage:

Metropolitan News-Enterprise: “Calderon Draws Fire From State Bar President Over Comments”

ABAJournal.com: “Tight Budgets Produce Judicial Discontent in California”

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