Following in the steps of some superior court judges who declined to participate in the AOC’s Voluntary Salary Waiver program (VSW), in which judges volunteered to donate a portion of their salary in solidarity with court staff who were enduring mandatory furloughs, a group of state justices have chosen instead to donate their contributions not to the AOC but to their own courts. Still others have decided to bypass the court system altogether and have donated to charity like Justice Terry O’Rourke who donated his share to a library in his county.
An article in the Daily Journal details Justice O’Rourke’s contribution and his reasons why he decided not to have it go to the AOC.
Fourth District Justice Terry O’Rourke says he gave $7,500 to the UC-San Diego library, which had its budget slashed this year. “I do not believe it possible to partially waive a constitutional right,” he explained by e-mail, “so I chose another option. Since I believe the AOC is overstaffed and overpaid, I donated a portion of my salary to a part of the state government that will not waste my money.”
Ouch! Tell us how you really feel Justice O’Rourke.
The other justices mentioned or quoted in the article had their own reasons for not participating in the VSW program. One of the main ones had to do with the justices not wanting to waive any protections guaranteed them under Article III, Section 4 which deals with reduction in judges’ salaries during their term.
But aside from Justice O’Rourke, I found Justice James McIntyre’s comment quite colorful as it had me thinking of Sinatra when I read his quote.
Justice James McIntyre of the Fourth District in San Diego explained his decision this way: “As in many things that come down from on high, you sort of get the idea this is what they want you to
do. So I chose to do it my own way.”
Spoken like a true independent judicial officer.