The California Supreme Court Opening; Blacks need not apply for the job.

The California Supreme Court Opening; Blacks need not apply for the job.

The California Supreme Court Opening; Blacks need not apply for the job.

The California highest Court is comprised of Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan, Associate Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-SakauyeAssociate Justice Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter, and Associate Justice Goodwin Liu; Seven people, two Whites, three Asians (one vacant seat), one Armenian NO BLACKS or NO MEXICANS.  Why is it important to have BLACKS OR MEXICANS on the California Supreme Court.  One word,“REPRESENTATION!” I believe that California highest court should be representative of the population that will be affected by their decisions.  Are there no Blacks who are qualified for the position? We all know the saying that justice is blind, but if this was true then the ethnic makeup of the California Prison system would be consistent with the State’s populous, yet the numbers of Whites in the California system are disproportionately low.   Don’t misunderstand what I am saying -this is not a call to put more whites in jail but what I found it isn’t that they are not committing crime it’s that they are receiving drug diversions and or probation instead of jail time.  

                      As we dig deeper into the demographics of the prison population we found that approximately 75 percent of the Blacks in the California Prison system were either born or raised in Los Angeles County, specifically South Central.   Accepting these numbers as true you would think that it would be of importance to national policy makers like Maxine Waters who would at least commission a report for cause, effect, and possible solutions; these are epidemic numbers.  But if you bring the issue to her attention she will quickly tell you she doesn’t represent South Central, that is until the cameras come on. If you never used a cake cutter to comb your hair, (which technically is a knife used by one ethnic group to cut Angel Food Cake while those in the African-American community use them primarily as hair combs) how can you understand that the police were wrong to shoot someone because they perceived the cake cutter to be a deadly weapon.  It is a fact that the building blocks we use to reach a decision on any given subject is based on the values of the community in which we were raised.  This is not to say that if you were born in a drug infested community your decision would be outlandish, it only means that you will have a better insight to certain situation and would be able to use this insight to inform the uninformed decision makers so as they would be better informed.  This is what the Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor explained to member of the Senate during her confirmation hearing.  But the issue goes is deeper, “Who do they represent on the bench?”  The party line answer is the People of the State of California, but who are these people?  It would seem that all acts are committed in the name of these ambiguous persons.  Do the people really want to pay $1000 for talking on the phone while driving?  What is the difference between that and say eating, drinking, talking to someone in the back seat, or changing the radio station?  Do the people really believe it should be against the law to drink a beer while walking down the street?  Do the people really believe that government should be able to take your property to make way for a business?  “Are you really interfering with police business simply because you are recording their illegal acts?” So the question remains, “Who do the members of the California Supreme Court represent?” In August 2011, an ethics complaint was filed with the California Commission of Judicial Performance against Justice Chin because of his involvement with a non-profit entity which caters exclusively to Asian-Americans Justice Corrigan graduated from Saint Mary’s High School, attended the women-only Catholic Holy Names College in Oakland before becoming a Justice.  She is unmarried and has resided in and around Oakland California most of her adult life; she was in the dissenting minority in the same-sex marriage case, , In re Marriage Cases (2008).  No doubt her dissent on prop 8 same-sex marriage was heavily influenced by her catholic upbringing. Justice Baxter (originally Bagdasarian) is of Armenian descent and is seen as cautious, conservative and competent.  However, in a recent case where a fellow Armenian (Sassounain) convicted of murdering a member of the Turkish community sought review in the California Supreme Court.  The two justices of Armenian provided the votes necessary to give the defendant a chance to plead his case before the court and then excused themselves from deciding the final outcome.  The case has generated controversy because two of the court’s justices, Armand Arabian and Marvin Baxter, both of Armenian heritage, provided the votes necessary to give the convicted assassin a chance to plead his case and then excused themselves from deciding the case. Justice Baxter refused to provide his reasons for stepping aside but it is believed that his ties to the Armenian community who is sympathetic to the defendant could raise  questions about his objectivity. Nevertheless, he is soon to be replaced with a 41-year-old Ariano-Florentino Cuellar a Mexican immigrant who teaches administrative law at Stanford University. “Tino Cuellar is said to be a renowned scholar who has served two presidents and made significant contributions to both political science and the law,” Brown said.  “His vast knowledge and even temperament will — without question — add further luster to our highest court.” This appointment in particular will be interesting.  Justice Cuellar has firsthand knowledge regarding the hardships of people from Mexico crossing the border searching for a better life in America.  And I am sure when he is sitting on the bench and the Court is asked to rule on a related immigration issue he will firmly remain and be on whichever side that helps the immigrant, whether it be majority or dissent. Justice Liu, although born in America is of Taiwanese decent.  Recently he was nominated by President Obama as a candidate for appointment as a judge on the Ninth Circuit.  After the Senate failed to conduct a confirmation vote he withdrew his nomination.   Under the surface of this nomination we find that Justice Liu’s father Wenpen Liu, is active in Taiwanese politics and is a main organizer in the Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan’s not America’s) overseas and is the head of the Sacramento office of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs.  The Formosan Association is a Washington D.C based NPO that seeks to build worldwide support for Taiwan’s independence, it provides US policy makers, the media, scholars and the general public with information related to Taiwan.  Again we are told that justice is blind they want us to believe this but clearly congress saw the ties believed there would be influence and prevented the appointment. Chief Justice Tani Gorree Cantil-Sakauye is of Filipino decent and raised in Sacramento.  With the exception of being a former blackjack dealer there seems to be no controversial issues.  She is a board member of the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation, a regular speaker at Sacramento events, and active in the Filipino and the Asian-American community.  I would say however, that of all the justices she would be the one who would best be able to identify with issue of concern to the Black Community. And finally, Justice Werdegar seems to be the only Justice who would agree with my proposition as her publications have addressed such issues as the relationship between the courts and private alternative dispute resolution, the value of diversity in the judicial system…   There is still an open spot on the California Supreme Court, vacated by Justice Kennard.  Who knows, maybe Governor Brown will eventually find the right Black for the job.  And hopefully he will be someone similar to Federal Judge Thelton Henderson  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelton_Henderson Otherwise, there is little hope on the horizon and the sun is soon to set on the Obama administration ending its term as the California prison population continued to be one-sided and the police continue to shoot down unarmed blacks for the lack of representation in the places where a difference can be made.  What’s your opinion?  If you don’t have one maybe this is the reason why it is allowed to continue.

Essex

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