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NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Apr 22 U.S. Supreme Court upholds Michigan anti-affirmative action law, California's Prop. 209 stands
San Jose Mercury News
In a decision that likely makes California's Proposition 209 bullet proof against legal attack, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld an identical Michigan law that bans affirmative action in public programs such as university admissions.
Apr 22 Privacy of ethics feedback contested
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A proposal to prohibit judges from participating in the Boy Scouts because of its discriminatory policies against gays and lesbians has generated some 500 public comments.
Related: Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics
Apr 22 Judicial Profile: Charlaine F. Olmedo
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Attorneys know Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo, supervising judge of L.A.'s criminal courts, as a stern presence. Timeliness and preparation are paramount, they say. Lacking legal grounding for arguments is a poor strategy.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Apr 21 California lawmakers want more data on prison realignment
Sacramento Bee
Since state lawmakers approved a law in 2011 making counties responsible for lower-level offenders, supporters and critics have offered many opinions as to whether or not the law is working.
Apr 21 State Supreme Court to Decide Whether Mediation Stay Tolled Five-Year Period
Met News
The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a Los Angeles Superior Court judge properly dismissed a lawsuit under the five-year period, or should have allowed the action to remain pending due to a previous stay for mediation.
Related: California Supreme Court
Apr 20 Ask TBC: What's to be built at Olive and Calloway drives?
Bakersfield Californian
We have an update on an Ask TBC from January about Kern County Superior Court's plan to standardize the fees it charges members of the public who want to view court files.
Related: Superior Court of Kern County
Apr 21 Judge Vaughn Walker tells his side of Prop. 8 trial
San Francisco Chronicle
The trial that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in California included harrowing testimony by a gay man who had undergone "conversion" therapy to try to turn him straight.
Apr 21 Judicial Profile: Deborah A. Ryan
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Deborah A. Ryan was sympathetic as she considered the case of a transient who'd pleaded guilty to failing to update his sex offender registration within five days of his birthday.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Clara County
Apr 18 Lo becomes Merced County judge; first Hmong judge in U.S.
Sacramento Bee
Judge Paul Lo tried to hold back tears Friday as he spoke about the men and women who paved the way to his spot on the Merced County Superior Court bench.
Related: ABC 30
Apr 18 Mental health treatment court has judicial backers, but many obstacles
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Efforts to introduce mental health treatment into California's criminal justice system are proceeding fitfully, with zeal and success in some quarters and resistance elsewhere.
Apr 17 Video: Local courts feeling the affects of ongoing state budget cuts
 California's budget cuts have taken a major toll on state courts, the state's top judicial officers say.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Apr 17 Editorial: Washington needs a Court of multitudes
Northwest Asian Weekly
A cursory investigation into the depth of color on the Washington State Supreme Court reveals very little pigment. From 1988 to 2003, there was Charles Z. Smith, son of an African American mother and Cuban father.
Apr 17 Appeals court denies petition, clears way for high-speed rail trial
Fresno Bee
A state appeals court rejected a petition by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, potentially clearing the tracks for a trial over whether the agency's controversial and ambitious bullet-train plan can comply with state law.
Related: Examiner
Apr 17 S.C. Will Not Block Law Protecting Disabled LSAT Examinees
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday left standing a Third District Court of Appeal ruling that allows the state to enforce a law barring the administrator of the Law School Admissions Test from notifying schools that an applicant received a disability accommodation.
Related: California Supreme Court
Apr 17 Judicial Profile: Joseph R. Porras
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Just a generation after his father cleaned courtrooms as a janitor, Joseph Porras sits on the bench.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Apr 16 10th Street courthouse deal OK’d by Modesto council
Modesto Bee
The council agreed to buy up all the privately owned land between Ninth, 10th, H and G streets, and then resell the whole block to the state.
Related: New Modesto Courthouse
Apr 16 Judicial Profile: Steven M. Gevercer
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Steven M. Gevercer has had some tough jobs. Before even dreaming of becoming a judge, he did manual labor with his father, and waited tables and tended bars. He worked in a disco bar and restaurant that was "very obnoxious," filled with cigarette smoke and drunks, he said.
Related: Superior Court of Sacramento County
Apr 15 Judge's handling of death penalty case did not hurt client, state high court rules
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A Los Angeles judge's shortcomings as a lawyer representing a capital defendant more than three decades ago didn't harm his client, the state Supreme Court held on Monday.
Related: California Supreme Court
Apr 15 Judicial Profile: Michael R. Libutti
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael Libutti is praised for efficiency, fairness.
Related: Superior Court of San Bernardino County
Apr 14 Judicial Profile: Mark H. Pierce
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Mark H. Pierce walks the fine line between protecting public safety and helping drug users.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Clara County
Apr 12 Questions swirl around Stanislaus County courthouse land deal
Modesto Bee
It’s expected to be the most expensive public building in Stanislaus County history, and the big spending is about to begin on the long-planned downtown Modesto courthouse.
Related: New Modesto Courthouse
Apr 12 Editorial: Modesto’s vision for courthouse is off the mark
Modesto Bee
The city of Modesto is forging ahead with its new courthouse proposal in typical fashion – wearing blinders, making miscalculations, dealing in the dark and refusing to consider all the costs.
Related: Central Valley Business Times
Apr 11 State's chief justice details her rise to the top
The Press Democrat
Tani Cantil-Sakauye wasn't always so assertive. Being an Asian woman from a male-dominated family, she was taught not to raise her voice or question authority. She let people interrupt her frequently.
Related: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Apr 11 Lawmakers weigh tightening control over judicial spending
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Legislators at a committee hearing this week took an unusual step toward what critics call micromanagement of the judicial branch's budget by advancing a plan to control how courts spend money on a popular criminal rehabilitation program.
Apr 11 Penalties drive up cost of California traffic tickets
Orange County Register
Speeders, red-light runners and those who blow through stop signs can expect to pay nearly 200 percent more for a traffic ticket than they did a decade ago.
Apr 10 A word, a sentence, a lesson for Rodriguez High students
Daily Republic
The “justice system revered all over the world” moved Wednesday to the multipurpose room at Rodriguez High School, where students saw a driving under the influence court trial and conviction.
Apr 10 Judicial Profile: Marc Dempsey Gross
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Despite his deep family history in the law, Judge Marc Dempsey Gross is creating his own legacy.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Apr 9 Marin Community Court marks three years of helping poor defendants
Marin Independent Journal
It's been three years since Marin Community Court started helping homeless and financially strapped residents deal with their outstanding citations, and the program has grown to include a list of more than a thousand participants.
Related: Marin Community Court
Apr 9 Ex judge hired to make sure the state lowers inmate numbers
San Francisco Chronicle
Former state appeals court Justice Elwood Lui was named by a federal court Wednesday as compliance officer in California's prison overcrowding case, with authority to order releases of inmates if the state falls short of court-ordered population goals.
Related: Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, Daily Journal
Apr 9 Next Assembly speaker's focus on poor is grounded in experience
Los Angeles Times
Toni Atkins' childhood in Appalachia was spent in poverty. A clear sense of what is possible when people work hard and cooperate is central to her political vision.
Related: Assemblymember Toni Atkins
Apr 9 Court contracting bill clears Assembly committee
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Despite meeting its demise last year after a veto by Gov. Jerry Brown, a union-backed effort to block courts from using contract workers to replace regular court employees is before the Legislature all over again.
Apr 9 Judicial Profile: Teri L. Jackson
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) San Francisco Judge Teri L. Jackson oversaw criminal cases for a decade before taking a civil post.
Related: Judge Teri L. Jackson
Apr 8 Gov. Jerry Brown says 'stimulating' realignment program is working
Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown, citing his meetings with law enforcement officials across the state, said Tuesday that "realignment is working."
Apr 8 State civil lawsuit access is a federal case, 9th Circuit rules
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Whether the public has a right to speedily view newly filed California state court civil lawsuits is an important First Amendment question that merits a federal court airing, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel held Monday.
Related: Met News
Apr 8 Judicial Profile: Elizabeth Guerrero Macias
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Passion and drive have propelled Elizabeth Guerrero Macias to the Orange County bench.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Apr 7 Affordable Representation
Comstock's Magazine
Between 75 percent and 85 percent of people who show up in family court in California represent themselves.
Apr 7 Judicial Profile: Scott D. Patton
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As a 12-year-old boy, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Scott Patton remembers standing behind a rope line at a Sacramento airport alongside his parents waiting to greet a young Gov. Jerry Brown.
Related: Superior Court of Alameda County
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