Stronger Rhetoric Used In Courts Funding Crisis

The usually judicious advocates for increasing funding to California courts are using increasingly heated terms for the situation, with the state’s Chief Justice getting a lot of Internet buzz after saying the results will be “… the dismemberment of the judicial branch.” And chief justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye was not addressing some obscure civic group but the high-profile Public Policy Institute.
In published reports, she said that: “In the last five years, $1 billion has been taken from the judicial branch… according to the latest proposed budget, it looks like the judicial branch will receive one penny of every dollar of the General Fund, which is an incredible bargain for what we provide. So we do that without raises and without broadening our scope and without more judges… all the while our caseload remains the same. We continue to provide a forum for justice on an ever-shrinking, minuscule slice of the pie. For California, it means disparate access to justice, and in some it means no access to justice.”
San Bernardino County continues to be a poster child of the cutbacks. The chief justice explained that a San Bernardino resident, to get his or her day in court, has to travel 175 miles one way; you have to assume they have transportation, that they can leave work to spend the day in court. Then they have a 175-mile trip back.

Link to the report in The Courthouse News here.