If you missed last night’s Justices on Justice event, you missed out. Fortunately, you can catch the entire discussion here.

With so many fantastic and distinguished jurists sharing their wealth of knowledge last night it was nearly impossible to get through the questions prepared by our moderator, Professor Leslie Gielow Jacobs, let alone the great questions we received from our audience members and viewers online.

While we were not able to ask all of the questions that were submitted to us, we were able to ask a few, and you can listen to the answers to the questions in the videos below.

From a pre-law student – Was there ever a case where your personal ethics or moral system affected, or threatened to affect, your handling of a case?

Answer from former California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin

Answer from United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (ret.)

Answer from Constitutional Court of Austria’s Judge Wolfgang Brandstetter

Answer from Presiding Judge Ann Power-Forde, Constitutional Court Chamber at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague

The second question that was asked, and directed specifically to Judge Power-Forde was: In the introductions, it was stated that Judge Power-Forde has emphasized children’s rights in her work. In your opinion, what are the next steps that need to be taken in the national and international community to protect the rights of children?

Judge Power-Forde’s answer to that question was:

There was a third question posed to the jurists, however, none of them attempted to respond to it in the very short amount of time left. That question was: What are your views on whether it is appropriate for judges to have life tenure?

Those are the three audience questions that were asked. Below are many of the other questions that were asked by audience members. This isn’t a full list, as there we multiple questions that were very similar.

  • What’s your favorite food?
  • How do you individually determine what is best for the people of your country? Do you fear that some people may not feel objectively justified by your decisions?
  • Do you think that the desire to be a justice disqualifies one from being a justice?
  • What current laws do you believe should be changed in order to help future generations?
  • Have you ever doubted if a decision you made was morally right as opposed to legally right?
  • What do you see as a growing problem within the field of law? How do we remedy these problems?
  • What is one piece of advice that you would give to young aspiring lawyers?
  • What was the hardest case you ever had to decide? Why?
  • Which case that decided was your favorite and why?
  • How do you distinguish justice from right and wrong?
  • When do you consider something “settled law?”
  • How do you balance animosity between justices on your respective courts? How does the debate/discussion flow?
  • What is the court’s involvement/influence in the issue of freedom of the press?
  • How is your Court funded?
  • Do you think that the ECHR can slow or stem the growth of the far right in Europe?
  • How do the courts strike a balance between education on the case and the merits of the parties?
  • Why do you think European countries were more willing to yield some of their sovereignty to the ECHR than the United States has been to yield some of its sovereignty to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights?
  • Are the decisions of your court influenced at all by the decisions other courts around the world?
  • When deciding a case, does the impact of the decision on the Court’s legitimacy sway your decision?
  • How would the U.S. program on immigration enforcement by separating minors from parents without a hearing fare under the ECHR?
  • What rights and/or values would be most helpful and strategic in encouraging coordination, mitigation, and accountability on the issue of climate change? How can local, national, international, and supernational courts work to mitigate the impacts of climate change?

There were also multiple questions on the confirmation process for U.S. Supreme Court justices, both in general terms and in terms specific to the most recent confirmation.

 

By: Devinn Larsen

The controversial practice of sexual orientation change efforts–also known as conversion therapy–attempts to change or alter an individual’s sexual orientation through various methods including but not limited to religious intervention, aversion therapy, and hypnosis. Most medical practitioners and professional medical organizations reject conversion therapy as a valid practice due to the financial and psychological risks associated with the practice such as financial burden, emotional trauma, risk of suicide, and depression.

In 2012, California became the first state to pass an outright ban of conversion therapy practices on minors. To further support and embrace California’s LGBTQ community and to protect from any harmful effects conversion therapy may cause, Assembly Member Evan Low (D – San Francisco) proposed AB 2943. The bill set out to extend the prohibition of conversion therapy practices to adults by making any advertisements for, offers to practice conversion therapy, or the actual practice of conversion therapy violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) as deceptive practices. As the CLRA declares services unlawful when represented as having the approval, benefit, or quality they do not have, the lack of substantiated evidence as to the success of conversion therapy after years of medical research sparked the introduction of AB 2943 to expand the ban of conversion therapy practices to all.

In the original version of the legislation, AB 2943 faced harsh criticism from many conservative and religious groups claiming the broad language of the bill infringed on constitutional freedoms of religion and speech. Many attempts to amend AB 2943 to better comply with individual liberties occurred, and in the latest version of the bill the CLRA violations extension included only advertisements for, offers to sell, and the actual sale of conversion therapy services.

Even with the amendments, concerns of conservative and religious groups remained prompting additional challenges relating to the breadth of the language used. After attempts to reconcile the language concerns failed and after passing through many stages on its way to becoming law, Assembly Member Low ordered AB 2943 to the inactive file, effectively killing the legislation for this legislation session.

In a statement made after the withdrawal of AB 2943, Assembly Member Low explained, “The best policy is not made in a vacuum and in order to advance the strongest piece of legislation, the bill requires additional time to allow for an inclusive process not hampered by legislative deadlines.” Only time will tell as to whether any alternative proposals of similar legislation taking such a strong stance on the protections afforded to California’s LGBTQ community will resurface.

To learn more about AB 2943, listen to my upcoming interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

Devinn Larsen is a staff writer for the University of the Pacific Law Review and law student student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

McGeorge School of Law professor and Director of the Capital Center for Law & Policy, Leslie Gielow Jacobs appeared on Capital Public Radio’s Insight earlier today preview tonight’s Justices on Justice event.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the event is SOLD OUT. However, there will be overflow seating at McGeorge School of Law in the Courtroom, which will have a live simulcast of the discussion. Tonight’s panelists are Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy (retired), Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Chamber at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague Ann Power-Forde, Justice of the California Supreme Court Joseph Grodin, and Judge in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Austria Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter.

If you are unable to attend the event in person, you can also watch it via the live stream below.

Tonight’s event, celebrating the newly created Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Endowed Chair, is made possible by a $1 million gift from the Tsakopoulos Family Foundation, which was doubled by the University of the Pacific’s Powell Fund match to create a $2 million endowment. Angelo K. and Sofia Tsakopoulos are longtime friends of Anthony and Mary Kennedy and the McGeorge School of Law. Kyriakos Tsakopoulos is a 1997 McGeorge alumnus. The Endowed Chair will provide the resources to bring prominent faculty to McGeorge to teach and advance legal thinking through scholarship and leadership in the legal community.

Legislative Committee Rules (transcript)

Today’s post is on legislative committee rules.

Each standing committee of the California State Senate and the Assembly operate under the Joint Rules of the Legislature, as well as the Standing Rules of the Senate and the Standing Rules of the Assembly. Further, each standing committee may adopt rules governing their committees. These committee rules set forth the procedures and guidelines governing that legislative committee.

As a general rule, many of the committee rules contain some of the provisions that are outlined in today’s podcast, including provisions on committee worksheets, motions, and letters of support and opposition among many others. I hope you find today’s podcast helpful.

Even though this Monday’s Justices on Justice is sold out, do not despair. There are still ways you can be a part of the conversation. If you want to experience the event in person there will be some overflow seating for the event in the Courtroom at McGeorge School of Law, where there will be a live simulcast. If you aren’t able to make it McGeorge on Monday but still want to watch it live, you can watch the event from the comfort of your own home via our live stream. If you are not able to enjoy the event live, you will be able to watch in its entirety on McGeorge’s YouTube page or listen to Justices on Justice on The CAP⋅impact Podcast.

This events celebrates the newly created Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Endowed Chair, which is made possible by a $1 million gift from the Tsakopoulos Family Foundation, which was doubled by the university’s Powell Fund match to create a $2 million endowment. Angelo K. and Sofia Tsakopoulos are longtime friends of Anthony and Mary Kennedy and the McGeorge School of Law. Kyriakos Tsakopoulos is a 1997 McGeorge alumnus. The Endowed Chair will provide the resources to bring prominent faculty to McGeorge to teach and advance legal thinking through scholarship and leadership in the legal community.

The event is a panel discussion moderated by McGeorge School of Law Professor, Constitutional Law expert, and Capital Center Director Leslie Gielow Jacobs. The panelists are Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy (retired), Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Chamber at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague Ann Power-Forde, Justice of the California Supreme Court Joseph Grodin, and Judge in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Austria Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter.

We look forward to having you join us either in person or online for this event.

In August 2018, Sonoma City Councilmember Rachel Hundley was attacked by an anonymous group of internet trolls. Their tactic? Take pictures that Rachel had posted on her own Instagram account from Burning Man and combine those with some inflammatory accusations on a website. Their goal? Blackmail Rachel into not running for re-election by threatening to take that website public. In a bold move, Rachel countered their move by taking them on head on, calling them out for slut shaming her and trying to blackmail her into not running for re-election in the era of #MeToo. You can see that response here.

Today, we talk with Councilmember Hundley about that experience, and the additional challenges that she faces both running for and in office as a woman and as a millenial that her male and older counterparts do not have to face.

As always, if you enjoyed today’s episode, please take the time to leave us a five-star rating on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher Radio, and subscribe to our show wherever you listen to podcasts. All of that makes The CAP⋅impact Podcast easier to find and more accessible.

You can also stay in touch with us and let us know what you thought about today’s show and think about the show generally on Facebook and Twitter. Just like CAP⋅impact on Facebook or follow @CAPimpactCA on Twitter.

The CAP⋅impact Podcast is made possible by the Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. You can learn more about the Capital Center here, and keep up with the Capital Center on Facebook and Twitter.

By: Trisha Mannie

After the launch of #MeToo and revelations of many allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein became public, the media’s coverage of how common sexual harassment is in the workplace has become more prevalent.  Famous women are sharing their experiences and using their status to encourage other women to do the same, resulting in a drastic rise in awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual harassment. The #MeToo and We Said Enough movements are only a couple of examples of how society is taking a stand to deter sexual harassment in the workplace. Now, more than ever, there is mounting pressure to put a halt to the somewhat normalized behaviors of sexual harassment occurring in the workplace that have hindered the success of many women’s careers for years.

SB 224 represents California’s goal to end sexual harassment in the workplace.  SB 224 acts to emphasize that those in powerful positions are liable for their actions by adding investors, producers, directors, lobbyists, and elected officials into legislation as examples of professional relationships where sexual harassment should not occur. This recognition of a broader scope of potentially liable professionals extends to include professional relationships that do not yet exist, but are offered. Additionally, SB 224 removes the requirement that the victim must prove the relationship was not able to be easily terminated before the harasser can be held liable for his or her actions. Lastly, SB 224 revises two Governmental Codes allowing the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to investigate cases of sexual harassment.

Through these changes, there is indication of a greater awareness for sexual harassment and a clear declaration that victims of these situations are supported by the law.  It promotes the eradication of professional behaviors of sexual harassment dictated by money, status, and power that have manipulated the vulnerable as they fear for their jobs. It removes blame from the victim by acknowledging that it is not up to the victim to terminate the relationship, but that the sexually harassing behavior should not have occurred in the first place. SB 224 makes it clear that victims are not alone as the DFEH plays a role, alongside the individual, in seeking justice.  The enactment of SB 224 unambiguously promulgates that those within professional relationships are entitled to respect, while reinforcing that those who violate this right should be held liable.

With its progressive ideals and underlying aim of achieving equality, SB 224 has faced no opposition. It passed in both the Senate and the Assembly and on September 30th, SB 224 was approved by Governor Brown. SB 224 is one step towards achieving the bigger picture of ending sexual harassment across multiple industries.

To learn more about SB 224, listen to my interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

Trisha Mannie is a staff writer for the University of the Pacific Law Review and law student student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

We want to you to be a part next week’s event – Justices on Justice. Please join the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law community at this event to celebrate the newly created Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Endowed Chair, made possible by a $1 million gift from the Tsakopoulos Family Foundation, which was doubled by the university’s Powell Fund match to create a $2 million endowment. Angelo K. and Sofia Tsakopoulos are longtime friends of Anthony and Mary Kennedy and the McGeorge School of Law. Kyriakos Tsakopoulos is a 1997 McGeorge alumnus. The Endowed Chair will provide the resources to bring prominent faculty to McGeorge to teach and advance legal thinking through scholarship and leadership in the legal community.

The event is a panel discussion moderated by McGeorge School of Law Professor, Constitutional Law expert, and Capital Center Director Leslie Gielow Jacobs. The panelists are Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy (retired), Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Chamber at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague Ann Power-Forde, Justice of the California Supreme Court Joseph Grodin, and Judge in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Austria Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter.

While this event is SOLD OUT, you will be able to catch a livestream of it here.

 

 

 

Recapping Governor Brown’s Bill Actions in 2018 (transcript)

Today’s post is a summary of the bill actions by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, his last year in office.

While the 2018 legislative session concludes sine die on November 30th, for all practical purposes the session ended on September 30, which represented the last day by the constitution for Governor Brown to act on all the bills sent to his desk in those final weeks of the legislative session.

He actually acted on bills every month of the year – from January with just one bill through September where he acted on 941 bills. So there were well over 1,000 bills that reached his desk. The exact number? 1,217 of those bills.

Now, this year, the 2018 session that began in early January and concluded by the constitution on August 31 dealt with 2,225 bills were introduced between the two houses of the Legislature. The Senate introduced 694 bills in 2018. The Assembly introduced 1,531 bills.

Of those 1,217 that made it down, 55% of the bills introduced made it to the Governor’s desk and 45% of the bills introduced – again that 2,225 number – got signed into law while a mere 9% of the bills that were introduced got vetoed. Of course, of the 1,217 bills a certain number were signed and vetoed.

The Governor this year vetoed 201 bills, which represents 16.5% – the highest he’s ever done. Let’s look a little closer at those bills the Governor signed and vetoed this year. Again, the magical number was 1,217.

I go into a greater detailed breakdown of the bills signed and vetoed by Governor Brown in today’s podcast.

Here’s our rundown of the news we’ve been reading and thinking about this week. While we try to seek out stories that aren’t the main story line of the week, sometimes the big story is just unavoidable.

 

 

 

CNBC

Elon Musk mocks SEC as ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’ days after settling fraud charges by Sara Salinas and Christine Wang

Jon’s take: Maybe it’s a good thing that Elon Musk is being forced to step from Chairman of the Board at Tesla. In terms of creativity and thinking about ways to approach major societal problems, I still think he’s a genius. That said, between his 420 tweet that got him and Tesla into this mess originally and now another tweet mocking the SEC after settling with them – both of which had a negative impact on Tesla stock – I’m inclined to think that he maybe shouldn’t be running the day-to-day of the company.

 

 

 

NBC News

Some undecided GOP senators on Kavanaugh call FBI report ‘reassuring’ and ‘thorough’ by Rebecca Shabad and Frank Thorp V

Molly’s take: A week long investigation is thorough according to key GOP senators on the confirmation vote for Judge Kavanaugh. Today, of course, Kavanaugh passed a symbolic hurdle and was moved forward to the next step of being the next Supreme Court Justice when the U.S. Senate voted to end debate on his nomination. As someone who has watched the hearings closely, Kavanaugh’s professionalism is concerning. Do we want someone so swayed by politics as the next “independent” judge on the highest court in the United States? 51 Senators said yes.

Whether or not Kavanaugh is confirmed, this is an important and eye opening experience. Watching Senators push through a rushed investigation to confirm a man accused of a heinous act is disheartening to say the least. More so, do I feel like we should look at the ABA’s Rules of Judicial Conduct… does he meet those standards?

Now, I feel as if I can only watch as he gets closer and closer to the highest bench, and politicians who led the outcry for a thorough investigation of Clinton’s emails, step back and call a week long investigation sufficient.