March 27, 2004
An Unintended Satire
Re: Our Judicial System
As this entire nation knows, California is facing a meltdown due to waste, fraud, and mismanagement, which has caused a tremendous budgetary short-fall everywhere in California. Whether desired or not, most all government agencies are facing a potential chopping block.
From every quarter, leaders of each bureaucratic agency are stepping forward to argue why their agency should be spared the budgetary ax. Below is the argument of Chief Justice Ronald M. George arguing that it is necessary that the judicial system should be spared.
While his presentation to the Legislature certainly is not intended to be a satire, one cannot help but see the fallacy of the picture he is trying to paint of the judicial system, with that of stark reality.
It should be noted that the California judiciary has done more toward the destruction of families, businesses, constitutional rights, and common sense and decency than has any other government agency that merely carries out their edicts. There could be no police force that could have done more to disrupt California's society than has California's judiciary.
By Justice Ronald George's own admission, the courts of Los Angeles affect the personal lives of 50% of all Los Angelinos each year, and adds, "What other public service or facility is used to such an extraordinary degree?" as if everyone was delighted about this so-called "public service."
The fact is, most people are being compelled into this arena under threat, coercion and duress, and are simply terrorized at the very idea that they must appear in that tyrannical forum. They feel helpless and in despair. Most people would rather endure the excitement of a root canal rather than face the injustices they experience or anticipate in the Los Angeles County Courts.
It is untold the number of persons that have committed suicide immediately after exiting the Los Angeles court building, and I even recall the publicity of the lady who did not even wait that long. She took the elevator up to the ninth (top) floor, and jumped off the building after exiting the courtroom.
Out of my eighteen years and fourteen petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court, never once have I personally seen justice dispensed in the Los Angeles County Court system, and it was this very fact that motivated my authoring the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law for the State of California, which has now grown nationwide. I can faithfully say that the corruption is so far ingrained in our California judicial system that it can never clean up its act no matter how much money is thrown at it, or how much we pay these judges to be honest. -Ron Branson
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Los Angeles Times - March 26, 2004
California's Chief Justice Warns Against Budget Cuts
Reductions in court's resources already have hurt residents, he tells Legislature.
Ronald M. George, chief justice of California, told a joint session of the California Legislature this week that threatened budget cuts could cripple the ability of the state court system to deliver justice. Another year of budget reductions poses challenges to both the civil and criminal courts, George said. Excerpts from his talk:
A strong and independent judicial system is not just another government program, nor is it a luxury to be afforded in good economic times and negated when the state's revenues are down. ....
Our nation and our state were founded on the basic principle of liberty and justice for all. That principle cannot be realized if our courts cannot function and provide fair and accessible justice.
California's court system-- the largest in the nation, with more than 1,600 judges, several hundred subordinate judicial officers and about 19,000 court employees-- has been working hard to meet its basic obligations to the public and to our sister branches of government.
We are continuing to do our part in reducing expenditures wherever possible. Already, however, reductions in court budgets have adversely affected the lives of many Californians, and threaten to render the administration of justice uneven and inadequate across our state. ....
Existing and threatened reductions will destroy the powerful momentum that has greatly enhanced the judicial system's ability to provide meaningful access to justice for all Californians. ....
Courthouse security also has been affected. In Stanislaus County, for example, the armed security force has been reduced by three full-time deputies at a time when the number of trials for violent crimes has increased. The basic ability of courts to remain open for the people's business is being weakened by chronic underfunding. In Riverside, three court locations have been closed. In Los Angeles, 29 courtrooms already have been shut down. ....
Out of the 12 million residents of Los Angeles County, one out of every two comes through the doors of at least one of the dozens of courthouses of the Los Angeles County Superior Court every year. ....
What other public service or facility is used to such an extraordinary degree?
I cannot emphasize too strongly how firmly I believe that further cuts to our courts will not achieve savings;
...all of us benefit from the fair, accessible, and efficient administration of justice. ....
One measure of a society is its ability to ensure public order and security while protecting the rights of the individual, no matter how weak or powerful.
Courts stand at the forefront of this endeavor. If we abandon the goal of accessible justice for all, we surrender not only our court system, but one of the most fundamental compacts of our democratic system of government.
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