March 25, 2017

Chief Justice criticizes courthouse immigration enforcement, president’s disparagement of federal judges

A week after sending a letter accusing federal agents of “stalking” undocumented immigrants in California’s courthouses, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye continued her criticism in an interview with KQED by comparing that conduct to what she saw as a trial judge in domestic violence court.  “I understand what stalking means and the fear that it instills in the victim,” the Chief Justice said.  She explained that the “enforcement tactics in the courthouses have a detrimental effect on safety in the communities,” by inhibiting people from cooperating with law enforcement efforts.

Cantil-Sakauye also had harsh words for the president’s disparaging comments about federal judges, calling the attacks “very threatening to the third branch of government.”

In the interview, the Chief Justice touched briefly on the “tremendous impact” that changes in the court’s composition have had over the last few years, and will continue to have as Justice Kathryn Werdegar prepares to leave the court.  Further, she discussed the “improving” diversity in the state’s courts, praising Governor Brown for being “very proactive in diversifying the judicial branch.”

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