Why a Spotlight must be put on the Commission on Judicial Performance


In light of "Sunshine Week," Court Reform LLC has released a Report detailing why the integrity of California's judicial oversight agency, the Commission on Judicial Performance, must be questioned. The Report compares the oversight commissions of California, Arizona, Texas, and New York. The data compiled in the report suggest that California's commission is severely under-investigating and under-disciplining judicial misconduct and misappropriating public funds; it is a severe, negative outlier in virtually every category. The disparities in discipline and budget efficiency are not merely 20-30%, they are 200-300% or more.

The Commission on Judicial Performance refused to produce any records in response to a recent public records request from First Amendment Coalition, claiming they are exempt from California Constitution, Article I, Section 3(b), the California Public Records Act, Ralph M. Brown Act, Bagley-Keene Act, and California Rules of Court, rule 10.500. The commission is the only California government agency that is resides in the International Waters of public disclosure laws.

Given the troubling statistics and paramount public importance of maintaining the integrity of the largest judiciary in the Western world, the Commission on Judicial Performance  should be scrutinized and legislation should be passed to increase transparency and accountability.

Read the report below, or download it here:

Why a Spotlight must be put on the Commission on Judicial Performance (Full Report - 78 pages)
Why a Spotlight Must be put on the Commission on Judicial Performance (Full Report without Appendix - 20 pages)
Why a Spotlight must be put on the Commission on Judicial Performance (Executive Summary only - 3 pages)


After the California Assembly budget hearing

After testifying to state legislators at a  California Assembly budget hearing on Monday, March 28, our report was attacked by Commission on Judicial Performance Director and Chief Counsel, Victoria Henley. In testifying and in an interview to the San Francisco Chronicle she called our report "erroneous" and "deeply flawed." In a follow-up op-ed published in the Daily Journal, we show how erroneous and deeply flawed Henley's contentions are. Below are the ongoing aftermath of the budget hearing:

San Francisco Chronicle article:
Reports slams the way California's judges are quietly disciplined

Daily Journal op-ed:
Subscription only. Can be accessed at The Daily Journal website

San Francisco Chronicle op-ed:
California Judiciary's Toothless Watchdog