In the aftermath of revelations of numerous scandals involving the integrity of judges and executives of the AOC, Judicial Council, and the State Bar of California — which came on the heels of a crisis of confidence in California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakayue — Dan Dydzak, a Marina Del Rey-based legal scholar, recently offered commentary on the recall process, and specifically in connection with the sucsseful recall of former chief justice, the late Rose Bird.
According to Dydzak, “Rose Bird got recalled because a large part of the population disagreed with her judicial view of the death penalty. I witnessed a magnificent speech by Rose Bird years ago where she quoted philosophy and talked about the Rule of Law being observed. Rose Bird’s decisions were generally well-reasoned, and supportive of individual rights. After leaving the bench through the recall, without fanfare, she used to work pro bono for a legal aid office in the Bay area unannounced and taught some courses at law school. She was indeed, apparently, a public servant of the highest order and was not mired in any financial or criminal activitiy. Her legacy was not one of financial transgressions in any manner. Her mindset was not egotisical and she did not care one iota if a building was named after her, or that she made a lot of money.”
“During her tenure, there was no AOC scandal–no massive layoffs–no insinuations or allegations of misconduct or financially questionable actions taken by her or the California Supreme Court. She did not have an enemies list targeting certain disfavored attorneys or judges. Bird would not have condoned out-of-control spending on computer systems that didn’t work,” Dydzak continued..
Dydzak further stated: “I leave it up to the readership of Judicial Council Watcher to analyze and contrast the situation at hand today. Bird certainly would not have been happy that we could not have court reporters. The less financially disadvantaged are denied due process when they cannot afford a transcript. And Bird, whatever one thinks of her judicial legacy, would not have condoned a heavy AOC bureaucracy with a retinue of attorneys apparently doing very little, especially ones giving advice from Switzerland and other exotic locales outside of CA.
Persons who misuse the public trust and convert funds could take a page out of the humble character of Rose Bird. Yes, certain people may vehemently disagree with her view of the death penalty, and that is the main reason she was recalled. When I first arrived as a young man in the Golden State, during Bird’s tenure, there was no discussion of abuses of the AOC or Judicial Council.
How things have changed…it is fortunate that Judicial Watcher and others have pointed out that the sails need to start going in a fair and more democratic way. This may call for some quite draconian measures, as many on this site have pointed out,” Dydzak concluded.