Justice George suggests judges who opposed court closures are only concerned about their own interests. In other news, pot calls kettle black.
Remember how I posted a couple weeks ago about the analogy one reporter came up with about the AOC? Let me summarize it for you. Basically the AOC would be like the Death Star. The group of judges who are leading a campaign against the AOC to open itself up to more public scrutiny would be like the Rebel Alliance. Which begs the question of who would Darth Vader be in this saga happening very, very now, in a galaxy near, near here? Well, here’s one candidate for you. Justice Ronald George. Although to be honest with you reader AOC Watcher likes to refer to Justice George as King George. Especially when some years ago he made a comment that any questioning of the AOC and how it does its business would be taken as a declaration of war on the AOC. Excuse me?? Questioning a government agency funded by taxpayer dollars is a declaration of war? Okay, then.
Seems ol’ King George is ready to rumble now that he’s thrown down the gauntlet metaphorically speaking by suggesting those judges who have voiced opposition to court closures by the AOC as a solution to slashed budgets. He made the comment in a report he gave to the Judicial Council that had been webcast.
“Interestingly enough, much of the most vocal opposition to court closures in the name of access to justice has come from persons who, in the past, have shown little or no interest in our efforts to maintain and increase access to justice. So one might question whether these concerns are totally genuine or reflect instead, perhaps, some personal concern about the implications, financial and otherwise, to oneself from closures and from the pressure to engage in voluntary furloughs for one day a month.”
Amy Yarbrough of the Daily Journal wrote about how that comment has rankled a few judges who are now demanding an apology for his comments.
George’s comments struck a nerve, particularly in Sacramento County Superior Court, where judges have been quite vocal, even signing a petition against the closures. Judge Loren McMaster drafted a letter to Sacramento Presiding Judge James Mize, asking him to press George for an apology. “It’s not a fair comment and it’s not accurate,” McMaster said of George’s statements. He pointed out that most judges he’s heard from plan to volunteer their salaries in solidarity with court employees who must take a pay cut as a result of the closures.
Judge Maryanne Gilliard, also on the Sacramento bench, said it is “disappointing” that a member of the judiciary would question the motives and integrity of judges who have resisted the closures. “I am hopeful that upon reflection he will conclude that his remarks were intemperate and offer an appropriate apology,” she said.
Mize said he wants to speak with George to clarify what he meant by his comments before he does anything. “I would never attribute bad motives to the chief justice on anything,” he said. “I really think we all have to stop and take time to listen and have, I would say, a judicious response.”
Yeah, I wouldn’t be holding my breath for an apology to happen any time soon.