Doomsday predictions announcing the end of California justice took center stage at a protest of lawyers, district attorneys, and judges on Wednesday. The group gathered to oppose the half billion dollar cuts proposed for the state court system.

Already, layoff notices are going to employees of the system as the governor and legislature prepare to pass a budget that would cut one-time funding for the courts by $300 million, and suspend or cancel planned construction to save another $240 million. Those costs could be offset with a deep reach into the reserve fund that the courts have built up over the years, but that money had been intended to be spread out over years to mitigate future cuts.

In Sacramento County, officials are considering shutting small claims court four days a week, leaving little time to resolve issues that otherwise would be handled quickly. Additional layoffs could impact the processing of paperwork that is involved with divorces, custody cases, and even restraining orders.

From the Sacramento Bee:

“Sí, se puede! Sí, se puede!”

A rally for farmworkers on the Sacramento courthouse steps? Nope. It was 20 or so judges from the local Superior Court bench, taking it to the front of their building Wednesday to protest the governor’s budget move to reduce state judiciary funding by $544 million.

The judges chanted the old Cesar Chavez slogan, loosely translated to mean “Yes, we can,” in a noontime rally where they joined defense, prosecution and civil lawyers, as well as courthouse employees, to voice opposition to the court budget cuts.

Read the full article here.