Justice Ronald George gave a speech to a joint meeting of the State Bar of California and the California Judges Association Saturday. The San Diego News Network’s reporting of his speech makes it appear as though he (and the AOC) had no choice when it came to the decision of closing courts. It would also appear as though he were blaming some other party for the closures.
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George lashed out Saturday at required court “furlough days” during a major San Diego address. George charged that, “courts are not just state buildings. They are symbols of our commitment to access to justice.”
George went on to charge that citizens may be shocked when they find “closed” signs on their courthouses. “Democracies need their courts and they need their courts to be open.”
George recounted that closing courts one extra day each month was a “last resort,” due to budget constraints. A last resort that the chief justice “deeply regretted.”
Meanwhile, over at the San Diego Union Tribune, Justice George comes off defensive on the issue of court closures when he calls it “the only rational option” in his speech. This time it looks like Justice George did have some control and decided that closures was the only way to go and was defending his decision.
…Justice Ronald M. George also countered complaints from some judges around the state about court closures and the growth in the administrative agency that runs the sprawling system.
His remarks came during the annual meeting of the State Bar this weekend, just days before the first of monthly scheduled closings of state courts Wednesday.
The closures, which will continue on the third Wednesday of each month through June, mark the first time the entire branch is being shuttered. George said the decision by the state Judicial Council to do so was not an easy one.
He said that after months of examining other alternatives, the council determined that closing courts was “the only rational option available to us to adequately address budget realities” the court system faced.