Is a Judicial Council brouhaha brewing over AB 1208? Could be.
The council on Monday will consider its legislative priorities for 2012. On the list is a proposal to “continue” opposing AB 1208, Alliance of California Judges-sponsored legislation to curb the council’s role in doling out trial court money.
The council’s Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee, chaired by Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter, has long opposed AB 1208 on behalf of the council. Now the committee is asking the council to endorse continued opposition to the bill.
In a statement issued Friday, the Alliance of California Judges warned that a vote of opposition “will only further erode the Council's relationship with the local trial courts.” The Alliance noted that the California Judges Association declined to take a position on the bill after a survey of its members found that 48 percent of respondents backed the bill and 45 percent did not.
“We ask that the Judicial Council itself abstain, request that its governmental affairs office take no position, as did the California Judges Association, and allow the legislative process to go forward in a manner where all judges and courts can state their views on the bill directly to the Legislature, without the Judicial Council taking sides in the matter,” the alliance wrote.
Among those who will be asked to endorse the council’s legislative agenda-- and oppose AB 1208 -- is state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, who is a voting council member and chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. If AB 1208 passes out of the Assembly next month, the bill will likely go to her committee for a vote. An Evans spokeswoman confirmed that the senator will attend Monday’s meeting in San Francisco, where the council will honor her with the Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award.
The public portion of Monday’s Judicial Council meeting starts at 12:30 p.m.