Op-Ed: A Plan to Restore Confidence in Courts

I want to direct AOCW readers to an op-ed piece printed on the Bakersfield.com website written by Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe. Judge Lampe is also a member of the California Alliance of Judges.

A Plan to Restore Confidence in Courts

Our state budget failure has resulted in a legislative mandate for court closures on the third Wednesday of every month. For the first time in our state’s history, citizens have been shut out of their courtrooms. This did not happen even in the Great Depression. Our courts must be reopened, and they must be kept open. We are entitled to courts managed by judges who live in our communities.

Over the last 10 years, the court budgeting process has evolved from an open, public process conducted locally, to one that is obscure, closed, and conducted by a remote bureaucracy. It is time to restore public confidence in our courts by reestablishing public awareness and scrutiny.

Click here to read more.

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6 responses to “Op-Ed: A Plan to Restore Confidence in Courts

  1. you rock Judge Lampe! Judges like you keeping this out in the public eye will keep the mission alive. We must keep the pressure on the AOC and keep the public and legislature apprised of the situation so change will occur. As a result of your and others work, the legislators are sponsoring bills to give AOC staff whistleblower status. Keep it up people!

  2. This is just the kind of vigilance we need to keep their feet to the fire. I hear the court employee unions (AFSCME, CFI and SEIU) met with LASC today to strategize on how to preserve court access and keep King George and Prince William from running the system into the ground in a CCMS cadillac. Interesting…

  3. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that meeting today! In addition, to King George and Prince William’s role in running the judiciary into the ground let’s not forget about Little Lord Fauntleron’s culpability in these matters. I can see them now driving that CCMS cadillac with wind blowing in their hair as they approach the palaces they hope to construct with all that 1407 money; while we poor paupers tend to the needs of the public on the mere pittance they so kindly hand out. The monarchy should do the right thing and ensure public access before the people drag out the guillotine! Viva la Revolucion!

    • justinianscode

      You took the words right out of my mouth: “running the judiciary into the ground”

      The Chief Justice, Justices Hill and Huffman, Mr. Vickrey, et al., have made public and private statements tending to suggest they think those of us who hold views contrary to theirs are mere naysayers trying to interfere with their efficient management of the Judicial Branch. The reality is to the contrary, though.

      The criticism I have read and heard has been thoughtful, intelligent and well-informed. The people expressing those opinions look upon the folks mentioned above as the ones who are acting to the detriment of the judiciary. As you noted, they are running the Judicial Branch right into the ground.

      This probably isn’t the legacy he hoped for but I think it highly likely that Chief Justice George will be remembered for – among other perhaps more salutary accomplishments – as the man who closed down the courts. The way to avoid this legacy is simple; dump all CCMS money into court operations immediately. Then leave it there.

      It really is that simple. Keeping courts open is the most important function the Judicial Branch ever has, now and always.

  4. Ultimately nothing will change until one of two things happen- the Judicial Council is democratized or the CJ is not retained in 2010.This forum is a great place to set the table for positive change.Lets talk about how we can best achieve that in a positive way!