Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Chief Justice of California: “The rule of law means that as a people, we are governed by laws, and not a monarch.”
Derek Hawkins in the Washington Post reports on how the Chief Justice of California (and UC Davis alum), Tani Cantil-Sakauye, has emerged as "one of the Trump administration’s most vocal critics in the judiciary." Earlier this month, she scolded federal immigration authorities for using courthouses as “bait” to arrest undocumented immigrants. Days later, she assailed the president’s disparaging comments about federal judges who ruled against his travel ban. Yesterday, Cantil-Sakauye used her annual State of the Judiciary address to argue that the rule of law was being “challenged” amid the administration’s immigration crackdown.
Without mentioning Trump by name, she told the state’s lawmakers that “the rule of law means that as a people, we are governed by laws, and not a monarch.” “We are living in a time of civil rights unrest, eroding trust in our institutions, economic anxiety, and unprecedented polarization,” she said. “Our values and our rules and laws are being called into question, and all three branches of government and the free press are in the crosshairs.”
Cantil-Sakauye, a Republican appointed in 2010 by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has typically used the state of the judiciary address to discuss budget issues before the legislature. But she devoted much of the 2017 State of the Judiciary speech to immigration enforcement under the Trump administration.