Op-Ed: Secret Judicial Council Vote Rewrote Branch Governance Policy

Is it possible that the Judicial Council and AOC could totally rewrite the Judicial Branch Governance Policies, and then somehow enact them in secret? Is it further possible that the AOC could subsequently totally rewrite the California Rules of Court pertaining to branch governance, including making an unprecedented grant of policy-making power to the AOC, and get those rules passed without any council discussion, and without the public and members of the judiciary being given any chance to comment prior to their enactment? This sounds simply preposterous, of course, but read on.

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9 responses to “Op-Ed: Secret Judicial Council Vote Rewrote Branch Governance Policy

  1. Thank you Judge Horan. I appreciate that you followed through, and that your process to obtain basic facts is clearly presented and is transparent. Regarding the delay, hoops and maze that you had to jump through to solicit a simple explanation regarding how governance policies were adopted for the Judicial Council of California … your journey speaks volumes.

  2. Judge Horan- Thanks for bringing all this to light.How can the Chief , Justice Huffman or any member of the JC explain all this? Perhaps these secret e-mail votes explain how and why the AOC is actively lobbying to stop the audit of CCMS. Certainly no public vote by the JC has taken place to organize that effort. The state court trial funding act and consolidation of trial courts did not concentrate all branch policy making in the office of the Chief Justice. It is time for individual JC members to step up and ask who authorized the effort to lobby the legislature against an audit of CCMS? Moreover, if CCMS is as great as the AOC claims why would they be against an audit? All of the above should raise a number of red flags for the the public at large, the legislature and the hardworking Judges and employees of the trial courts.All of those here who share these concerns should lobby their state representatives to 1. Audit the AOC regarding CCMS and 2. Request legislative oversight hearing on the governance of the branch 3.Support efforts by the Alliance of California Judges to democratize the Judicial Council. 4. Support vital protections for AOC employees who have the courage to dissent.Positive change is on the way and antidemocratic stands by the Chief, Justice Huffman or the AOC only fuel the fire for meaningful change.

  3. ConcernedReConsolidation


  4. California Canons of Judicial Ethics

    TERMINOLOGY: ” ‘Law” denotes court rules as well as statutes, constitutional provisions, and decisional law.'”

    CANON 2 A.: “A judge shall respect and comply with the law* and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

  5. Secrecy and deception in the Judicial Branch? Involving the Chief Justice, Justice Huffman, and the Judicial Council? Involving Bill Vickrey and the AOC? The next thing you know, we’ll be finding out the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, Bill Vickrey, and the AOC have been illegally using unlicensed contractors, or the AOC is continuing to secretly hire despite publicly professing that there is a hiring freeze at the AOC, or that the Chief Justice and the AOC have been giving out promotions and double-digit pay raises to selected favorites even as the Chief Justice, the Council, and the AOC have ordered monthly closures of the courts, or that there are undisclosed and hidden cost over-runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars on some massive single-source no-bid contract computer project that doesn’t work and has no realistic projection of ever working or even being completed, or that known fraud and embezzelement at the AOC has been unreported to law enforcement and gone unprosecuted, or that AOC employees are being punished and fired for reporting misconduct in the Administration of the AOC and the Branch ….

    A perversion of the process indeed. Thank heaven for an independent judiciary so that those judges who refuse to condone this disgraceful conduct can expose it and speak out against it. Judge Horan, you rock!

  6. yowwssa! well done! Judge Horan, not only do you rock you are sick! (as my young nephew likes to say when something really pleases him 🙂

    When I am my rational self and not all stirred up wanting changes immediately, I love how the ACJ, AOC employees and others are like little conistent, buzzing, irritating nats around the heads of the CJ, J Huffman, and the administration of the AOC…eventually you will just drive them crazy and I hope they run screaming from the room and out of the branch all together!!

    You go Judge!

  7. I don’t know if members of the Judicial Council know (or care) how embarassing this is. To adopt revised governance policies via a private e-mail vote, then sneak them into minutes, then sneak them into Rules of Court is frankly horrifying.

  8. You want to know who approved the lobbying effort against the audit? King George, Prince William and Little Lord FauntleRon. My sources say they were out and about in the capitol lobbying against the audit. My guess is this, if they were well received today then you will see the prince, the little lord and their privy council at tomorrow’s hearing. If they were not well received the prince and the little lord are sure to be hidden away in San Francisco while the privy council is left behind to fight the losing battle.

  9. How pathetic is this? I haven’t logged onto the watcher for a while, but please, the reorganization of rules of court is some vast AOC conspiracy?! Give me a break!