The chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, said the severity of budget cuts to the courts that Democrats plan to push through the legislature today would undermine Californians’ fundamental rights and deliver “a blow against justice,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Cantil-Sakauye condemned the Democratic proposal to cut $150 million more from the court system’s budget as “devastating and crippling to the judicial branch.”
“With these cuts courts cannot provide these fundamental services or protect the rights of Californians. By marginalizing the courts, California strikes a blow against justice,” the chief justice said. “Courts are not a luxury. They are at the heart of our democracy. These cuts threaten access to justice for all.” California’s courts had to cope with an across-the-board $200 million budget cut in March. In May, Gov. Jerry Brown’s finance department said another $150 million cut would likely lead to court closures statewide twice a month.