Is the new open meeting rule…… open?

Judicial Council Watcher

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“I believe in absolute transparency.” *

—Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, interview with Courthouse News Service, March 22, 2011.

As most of you know, the members of the Judicial Council are appointed by the Chief Justice, and the Council meets several times a year. These meetings, at which the Council ratifies decisions which affect us profoundly, are public. They are also largely ceremonial. Almost invariably, the public votes are unanimous; a survey of the Council’s record for a ten-year period uncovered only six non-unanimous votes. It’s not a stretch to conclude that at these public meetings, the Council merely rubber-stamps decisions that have already been made behind the scenes.

For over 15 years, the real decisions have been made by AOC staff and the five internal committees of the Council, long before the public Council meetings. Those internal committees — Executive and Planning, Rules and Projects, Policy Coordination and Liaison, Litigation…

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