June 14, 2012
Professor Leslie Jacobs, the director of McGeorge's Capital Center for Law & Policy, was among the speakers on June 13 at a rally to protest deep funding cuts to the California court system.
Jacobs was joined by Joseph Dunn, executive director of the State Bar of California, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, public defender Paulino Duran, Bruce Timm, '99, the vice president of the Sacramento County Bar Association, and more than a dozen Superior Court judges on the west steps of the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse in downtown Sacramento.
The rally, "Stand Up for Justice in Sacramento," called attention to the governor's budget move to reduce state judiciary funding by $544 million, which the speakers all agreed would drastically affect access to justice for all Californians.
In Sacramento, court officials have issued staff layoff notices and made plans to shut down small claims court four days a week. New court filings could also be delayed by the use of a drop box in the processing of the legal documents.
The state Department of Finance admits the hit on court funding has been significant over the past four years, totaling $653 million. California faces a nearly $16 billion shortfall and the administration insists that further cuts to the justice system are absolutely necessary.
The Capital Center for Law & Policy has been at the forefront of efforts to prevent further funding cuts to court funding. In November, McGeorge was the first stop on a tour promoting public "Hearings on California's Civil Justice Crisis," which brought together many prominent state jurists and attorneys to campus. The half-day forum, organized by One Justice, featured witness panels on foundational, rights to counsel, senior services and continuum of services events.