"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
Louis Brandeis, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice
A 2015 Gallup poll reports that trust in the judiciary is at an all-time low across the country. A 2014 study reports that among the 50 states, California has the highest level of perceived illegal corruption in its judicial branch, rating between "slightly common" and "moderately common." In November 2015, the Center for Public Integrity - a highly regarded nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting - published an in-depth study assessing the systems in place to deter corruption in state governments. California ranked 2nd overall in combating corruption and promoting transparency. However, California received an "F" in the category of “Judicial Accountability.”
Californians are harmed every day by the real corruption, abuse of power, bias, and incompetence of judges. At the core of California's problem is the lack of oversight. The failure of courts to make fair, consistent rulings erodes public trust and violates the constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. Californians deserve fair, transparent, and modern courts.
Cameras in the Courts
Electronic court reporting (e.g. cameras) will provide needed oversight of court proceedings that do not mandate court reporters (e.g. family law, civil) and will increase access to justice by making cost-effective, accurate transcripts readily available to litigants and the public. Electronic recording will save taxpayers an estimated $100 - $200 million annually by reducing the expense of court reporters, which are required for all criminal and juvenile proceedings. Click here for more details.
Electronic Document Filing
Electronic document filing and storage systems will provide additional oversight of court proceedings by making files readily accessible to the public. Electronic filing systems will also save litigants and courts tens of millions of dollars annually by reducing costs associated with paper filing systems - paper, copying, ink, physical storage, filing, waiting in line, etc. Electronic filing systems increase the clerk efficiency by 15 - 30%. Click here for more details.
Commission on Judicial Performance, Version 2.0
The Commission on Judicial Performance is the agency responsible for investigating and disciplining judicial misconduct. Because of the commission's structure, procedures, and budget, it does not provide sufficient oversight. Thus, California's $3.5 billion taxpayer funded court system fosters corruption, abuse, bias, and incompetence, which irreparably harms lives and costs taxpayers money associated with prolonged litigation. The commission requires drastic policy and structural reforms to provide meaningful oversight. Click here for more details.