March 20, 2012

Chief Justice gives first State of Judiciary address [Updated]

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye addressed the Legislature for the first time yesterday. The State of the Judiciary speech can be heard here and read here. (The written version of the speech is “as prepared” and does not coincide exactly with the audio; a court press release says the Chief spoke without notes.) [UPDATE: A video of the speech is now available.]

Veteran Sacramento reporter Dan Walters called the speech “in effect, a plea for reconciliation.” Walters writes, “She didn’t mention the legislation she had denounced, nor its sponsor, a band of rebels in robes called the Alliance of California Judges, but rather assured lawmakers, albeit indirectly, that everything would be fine in the judicial branch if they just gave it more money and let it be.”

In addition to budget and judicial branch governance issues, the Chief also spoke to the Legislature about how school discipline is a justice issue. She said that keeping children out of school — because of suspensions or expulsions — paves the way for their entry into the juvenile and then the adult justice system. She also indirectly referenced a recent report showing racial disparities in school discipline.

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