Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye's word of the day: "counter-majoritarian"

East County Magazine
September 10, 2014
(San Diego)

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye will be the featured speaker at “Informed Voters—Fair Judges” , a special program on the critical role voters play in preserving our country’s fair and impartial legal system.

Word of the day, "counter-majoritarian"
by Sharon Kramer

Yesterday, I attended a meeting [in San Diego] of which the subject matter was "Informed Voters -- Fair Judges".

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye was the keynote speaker. In fact, besides her introduction by Justice McConnell and the announcement by a gentleman from UCSD that it was time to mingle, Tani was the only speaker.

According to Tani, her courts are "counter-majoritarian" and must be, to keep the courts "fair and free". She claims that decisions in the branch are made independently -- not by majority rule. Thus, she is practicing "counter-majoritarian" in the name of democracy.

She also stated that Chief Justice Ronald George was a "wonderful, honorable, visionary" and that McConnell has worked with him for a long time to help keep the courts fair and free from outside interests influencing the courts.

[Maura Larkins' comment: Next we need to work on preventing INSIDE interests from influencing the courts. Insiders are able to exercise an extraordinary amount of arbitrary power, in my experience. The Chief Justice could begin to fix this by providing enough money to bring back court reporters for civil cases.]

Then she stated that McConnell also worked with the President of the Cal Chamber of Commerce on the project of ensuring impartial courts. (I laughed out loud at the irony and oxymoron of this statement. Fortunately, I don't think anyone besides those sitting next to me, heard me.)

This Emmy winning short video was played. "Fair and Free"

McConnell and an executive committee that she chairs, authored a pretty good little booklet to teach children of how the courts are suppose to work. Seems to me that it would be beneficial for many if she would also take the time to read it!

The CJ told an anecdotal story of a dinner she had with a legislator who she said would remain nameless. According to her, this legislator said that the trial judges report to the chief justice and the chief justice reports to the legislature.

Moans of sympathetic disgust went out in the crowd of the audacity of the statement by the imperialistic legislator. Parlaying on the audience favorable response, she then stated "and this legislator is a lawyer" and that after he said that, the dinner was over.

I got the impression that she was referring to Governor Brown and I seriously doubt that's what he actually said. I would envision it being more of "Get control of the fraud, waste and abuse in the judicial branch. The Judicial Council is not getting any more money from the legislature until you do."

Basically, it seemed like a cocktail party stop on the campaign trail to garner support for more money for the Judicial Council and their staff to control -- so they can be free to administer justice in the counter-majoritarian manner as taught by the wonderful, honorable, visionary Ron George.

Several San Diego judges and justices were in attendance including Justice Joan Irion, Nationwide Chair, Informed Voters—Fair Judges Project; and the appetizers were outstanding!.

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