March 18, 2014

Chief Justice warns of “a different type of civil rights crisis”

In her third State of the Judiciary address yesterday, which can now be viewed online, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye used more of a soft-sell approach than in the past in asking the Legislature to restore enormous cuts from the judiciary’s budget.  The Chief Justice waited until near the end of her speech to bring up the subject, drawing laughs when she told the legislators, “many of you keen listeners out there may notice that I have not said anything yet about fully funding the judicial branch.”  At that point, however, the Chief Justice said that the judiciary has “a lot of catching up to do” and, after having earlier discussed the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, stated that California now faces “a different type of civil rights crisis,” one that is “not about the law,” but “about access to it.”

Before beginning her speech, the Chief Justice thanked soon-to-be-retired Justice Joyce Kennard for her 25 years of service on the Supreme Court.  The legislators responded with a standing ovation.

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