SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - The chief justice of the California Supreme Court is not happy with proposed budget cuts.
Democratic lawmakers have proposed a $150 billion reduction for the state's court system, which is already dealing with a $200 million cut in March. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye called the proposal "devastating and crippling."
"Courts affect every part of our state's life, including convicting criminals and freeing the innocent; enhancing public safety; enforcing contracts; providing a forum for resolving business disputes; and protecting the children, the elderly, consumers, the environment - in short, protecting the people's rights," Cantil-Sakauye said Tuesday.
In May, the state's Finance Department said the cut would be necessary and likely lead to court closures twice each month.
"With these cuts, courts cannot provide these fundamental services or protect the rights of Californians," Cantil-Sakauye said. "By marginalizing the courts, California strikes a blow against justice.
"Courts are not a luxury. They are at the heart of our democracy. These cuts threaten access to justice for all."
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at email@example.com.