Cutbacks Still Leave California Courts Needing Judges

The deep budget cuts to California Courts have not gone away, and a Courthouse News story illustrates how the judicial system is trying to re-allocate judges to lessen impacts. The CN explains a recent Judicial Council debate on how much leeway the group should have in shifting judgeship around the state, a controversial issue in part because of impacts on local elections – the Golden State elects its trial judges, but incumbents seldom face real competition.

The CN backgrounds that “California’s trial courts are suffering from a shortage of about 270 judges, Judicial Council lobbyist Cory Jasperson told the Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee… meeting by phone, the committee debated whether to move forward with legislative language that would grant the council discretion to dole out vacant judgeships.

The report notes that “… while Gov. Jerry Brown has already supported allocating up to five vacant judgeships in his 2016-17 budget, his proposal hardly begins to make a dent in the need. Pushing for additional legislation, either as a trailer bill to be included in this year’s budget or as a separate bill, would go much further.”

Keep up with the judicial rationing here: