Judicial Council fails to act on open meeting rule

Judicial Council Watcher

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Transparency matters.

The meetings of the Judicial Council are, generally speaking, meaningless. The really important decisions are made behind closed doors by the Council’s five standing internal committees or its other advisory committees. The Judicial Council just acts as a rubber stamp. Maria Dinzeo, who reports on the Judicial Council for Courthouse News Service, recently noted “a pattern where proposals coming out of the committees are generally ratified with perfunctory debate and without substantial opposition.” (See http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/11/25/63214.htm .) As we’ve pointed out before, during one ten-year stretch, all the Council’s votes except for six were unanimous.

The Legislature has expressed its disapproval of the Council’s lack of transparency. Earlier this year, the Legislature added Provision 15 to the 2013-14 budget passed in June. Provision 15 would have required the Judicial Council to open up its advisory committees to public view. The Chief Justice lobbied against it, and the Governor vetoed…

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