That is why they support public services and oppose further cuts to education, health care, child care, environmental protections, and other critical public services.
That is why they support a fair tax system that adequately funds our state’s future.
This includes our judicial system, which is tasked with dispensing justice and adjudicating fairness.
To some, the term “Justice is blind” has come to mean that one’s ability to obtain redress for actual or perceived grievances through the courts rests solely upon random chance.
To most, however, the phrase “Justice is blind” actually means that any person, no matter their economic or social standing, their political or religious beliefs, their skin color or national origin, deserves and is entitled to receive justice.
Justice is for all. Fairness is for all. Equality is for all.
These are the ideals upon which our country rests.
And it is to the courts that we as citizens turn to pursue those ideals.
For we who work within the courts to turn the wheels of justice, it is our task to do our best to meet those ideals.
Unfortunately, recent and forthcoming budget cuts have severely diminished our capacity to carry out this mission.
In times of budgetary shortfalls, arguments for cutting costs and saving money are generally advanced as the fastest way to achieve a balanced budget.
We have seen, however, that when this principle is strictly adhered to with little regard for other concerns, we often wind up sacrificing many of those ideals that we as citizens of California and of the United States of America hold dear.
If justice is truly for all, if fairness and equality mean anything at all, then the Judicial Council need only look at the deteriorating state of trial court operations in Los Angeles to understand that the same cost cutting measures that have been applied there to save money year after year have simply hastened the decline of that court system.
The council must, therefore, consider new approaches, more holistic measures that leave intact both the public and human infrastructure of our courts as well as our values.
To that end, we are proposing that the Judicial Council and the Administrative Offices of the Court, acting in concert with the legislature and governor, reallocate the taxpayer dollars that are currently held in the Trial Court Improvement Fund, the Trial Court Modernization Fund, the Court Case Management System, and the State Court Construction Fund.
These monies are essentially being funneled to private contractors for future court improvements that have yet to materialize. If justice is to be accessible to all Californians, then we must keep the doors of our courts open with skilled workers to meet the public’s needs.
We stand together with the majority of California voters who support quality public services and who believe that our government must serve all our citizens.