Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke to the media yesterday about more than just her #MeToo moments. Today’s Daily Journal [subscription] reports that she also said she’s anxious for Governor Jerry Brown to fill the Supreme Court’s “lengthy vacancy” (see here and here), which she claims has hampered the court. Confirming something we’ve speculated about, the article quotes the Chief Justice, “‘It’s difficult to operate without a seventh justice,’ said Cantil-Sakauye, who said some cases are stuck due to 3-3 ties.”
Additionally, the Chief Justice commented again about federal immigration agents making arrests in state courts, an issue for which she has gained national attention since she wrote a letter to the administration accusing agents of “stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses.” (See also here and here.) She said she is “still hearing about ICE enforcement in courthouses.”
From Bob Egelko’s story in the San Francisco Chronicle about the Chief Justice’s meeting with the press: “‘It’s difficult to operate without a seventh justice,’ the chief justice said. She said the court has had to divide [retired Justice Kathryn] Werdegar’s former workload among its remaining justices, has found itself deadlocked on some cases, and has had to call on a succession of appellate court justices, chosen at random, to occupy the seventh seat at hearings for the past four months.”
“California Chief Justice Expects More Death Penalty Lawsuits” on Capitol Public Radio, including brief audio of the Chief Justice during the meeting, in which the Chief Justice suggests that there will be more litigation before the Supreme Court about Proposition 66.