Press Conference: Access to Justice in the Wake of Budget Cuts
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2012 — American Bar Association Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System co-chairs David Boies and Theodore B. Olson will join Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), and State Bar of California President Jon Streeter at a Monday, April 16 press conference at California’s State Capitol to discuss the crisis of state court underfunding and the decline in the public’s access to the justice system following years of budget cuts to the judicial branch in California. Boies and Olson will provide a national perspective on the crisis.
This event comes at a critical time. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye says California has “closed” signs on courtrooms and clerks’ offices in 24 counties around the state after four successive years of budget cuts totaling $653 million. Despite these cuts, and increasing caseloads, the California judicial budget is on the brink of facing an additional $100 million in cuts if Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s current budget is approved as proposed.
These budget cuts have resulted in reduced availability or elimination of court self-help services, and other cost cutting measures that directly impact the ability of the courts to adequately serve the public. California is not alone, however; 42 states cut funding for their judiciaries in 2011, reducing access to justice for thousands of Americans, according to the National Center for State Courts.
The press event precedes a joint informational hearing on “Public Access to Justice in the Wake of Budget Cutbacks” of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary, where Boies and Olson will once again provide a national perspective of the crisis of state court underfunding. Watch the hearing live from Sen. Evans’ website beginning at 3 p.m. PST.
David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, co-chairs, ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System;
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, California Supreme Court;
Sen. Noreen Evans, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee;
Sen. Loni Hancock, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary;
Jon Streeter, president, State Bar of California
Press conference on public access to justice in the wake of budget cuts
California State Capitol — South Steps (N Street and 11th side) OR Capitol Room 115 if raining
Monday, April 16, 1:30 – 2 p.m.
To arrange an interview with Boies or Olson, please contact Alexandra Buller at (202) 662-1508 or Alexandra.Buller@Americanbar.org.
The Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System was founded in 2010 to address the issue of declining budgets and increasing workloads in our state court systems. It is comprised of distinguished attorneys and judges from across the nation. William K. Weisenberg and Mary C. McQueen serve as vice chairs.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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