Tight Budgets Produce Judicial Discontent in California
Discontent is growing among judges in California amid state budget cuts and a planned $2 billion court technology upgrade.
A rebel group called the Alliance of California Judges is fighting on two fronts, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The group is targeting the increasingly costly technology upgrade and seeking to weaken the state Administrative Office of the Courts, which has doubled its budget as courts faced cutbacks.
“Call it the War of the Robes,” the Mercury News says. “Sweeping budget cuts in trial courts across California, coupled with mounting frustration with the state’s much-maligned court bureaucracy, have exposed an unprecedented public rift in the normally tranquil fraternity of more than 2,000 judges.”
The Alliance is backing a bill to remove some of the Administrative Office’s authority to govern trial courts. A legislative committee approved a watered-down version of the bill last week, the story says. The state’s chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, opposed the legislation, calling it “disrespectful to the branch” and “destabilizing.”