Scott Shafer of The California Report got off the phone with California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye a few minutes ago, and she is not at all happy with the cuts to courts that are part of the budget bills passed by the legislature today.
Cantil-Sakauye described the cuts as "devastating," and said they would impact anyone who has to deal with the courts in any way. She cites reduced hours of service, closure of self-help centers and mediation services, long delays in receiving time with interpreters, severe case overload, and long lines for traffic violations as some of the consequences of the slashed judicial budget.
"Courts are in crisis the same way that California is in crisis," Cantil-Sakauye says. "There is devastation to many services and worthy causes and public needs... Notwithstanding that kind of devastation and crisis, courts still have to stay open to ensure people's rights."
Cantil-Sakauye said she intends to fight the cuts, asserting there is language in the bill that allows for the restoration of funding if sufficient revenue exists.