Last week the Alliance of California Judges celebrated its fourth anniversary.
The Alliance was formed by 28 judges from around the state on September 11, 2009, after a handpicked Judicial Council had unanimously voted for the first time in history to close the state’s trial courts one day each month. That vote masked the real reason behind closing courtrooms. While the state budget was imploding due to the recession, those same Council members were diverting millions of dollars from our local courts to fund the most expensive computer debacle in California history, CCMS, a project designed to put the trial courts more and more under the control of the Administrative Office of the Courts and a few select judges. This move was accompanied by a secretly drafted trailer bill at the close of that year’s budget designed to completely undo the priority of local court administration. The Alliance brought these efforts into the arena of public scrutiny.
The Alliance is now a group of 500 judges of this state. The Alliance continues to grow because we are dedicated to being a voice for the independent judges of this state in ensuring responsible local management of our courts by elected judges. We are committed to making open courts, meaningful access and the fair adjudication of disputes the first priorities of the Judicial Branch. In leading the way for reform, we have demonstrated the need for a group of judges who think independently and who recognize that the idea of “speaking with one voice” is too often a mantra for stifling dissent and covering up incompetence.
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