Maybe it was the approaching lunch hour. Maybe he was just hungry when he wrote his speech. Whatever the reason, new California Judges Association President Allan Hardcastle delivered an inaugural address Saturday that was well-spiced with dining analogies.
On the judiciary’s shrinking budget: “My mother used to tell me that the table manners changed when the pie got smaller. That’s so true,” the Sonoma County Superior Court judge told a receptive gathering of State Bar and CJA leaders in Monterey. “And that pumpkin pie we used to have? It’s looking like a three-day- old Pop-Tart to me right about now.”
And on the need for judges to “unite” against state budget cuts: “Like a family coming home for Thanksgiving, we must ensure that the front door is open, and we must ensure that everyone gets a seat at the table. And once they’ve gotten that seat at the table, we need to ensure there’s adequate food on the table to feed everyone.
“Once we win that goal, then there’ll be time to discuss whether two years ago mom should have used the stainless steel flatware or the sterling silver flatware,” Hardcastle continued. “Only when everyone’s at the table and their needs are met should we have a debate about whether the dinner fork goes on the right or the left.”
Some judges may not find Hardcastle’s message so palatable. Critics, most notably the Alliance of California Judges, have described the call to quell dissent as stomach-churning. Hardcastle, a Harley-riding Army veteran, has the next 12 months to make his plea bear fruit.