Posts Tagged: court

News

California’s redistricting panel flooded with applications

A map showing cities in a swath of northern California. (Photo: BestStockFoto, via Shutterstock.

More than 7,100 people have applied to be on California’s independent redistricting commission, the 14-member panel that will draw new political boundaries based on population counts from the 2020 census. State Auditor Elaine Howle’s office said of the large applicant pool, nearly 6,000 were tentatively eligible.

News

Berkeley vs. wireless industry over safety warnings

Multiple users of wireless devices check their hand-helds. (Photo: Andrey_Popov, via Shutterstock)

Few people know that there are federal safety limits for exposure to the weak radiation emitted by cellphones and other wireless devices. There often is language about this embedded right in our phones, but finding it requires knowing where to look, wading through sometimes five or more steps and then making sense of the technical jargon.

News

Federal judge orders conference in traffic ticket case

A federal judge has ordered a conference in the case of a driver who got a $200 ticket for turning right at a stop light in suburban Sacramento. The motorist filed a federal complaint against the Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Judicial Council and the Sacramento County Superior Court, saying he is one of millions of people who had their licenses suspended because they couldn’t afford costs and administrative fees.

News

State Supreme Court to consider public pension cuts

The California Supreme Court, left to right, standing: Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Carol Corrigan, Goodwin Liu, and Leondra Kruger. Seated: Kathryn Werdegar, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and Ming Chin.

Calpensions: The state Supreme Court last week agreed to hear an appeal of a groundbreaking ruling that allows cuts in the pensions earned by current state and local government workers, including judges. When judges have an obvious conflict of interest and excuse themselves from ruling on a case, the legal term is “recuse.” But the seven Supreme Court justices seem unlikely to recuse themselves from a possible landmark ruling on this Marin County pension case.

News

Death penalty: Ron Briggs’ odyssey

The execution chamber at San Quentin Prison

Ron Briggs was always an ardent supporter of the death penalty. His father John Briggs, former state assemblyman and senator, was a driving force behind a 1978 initiative that expanded the list of special circumstances required for a death sentence. But today, Ron Briggs is one the biggest opponents of capital punishment. He campaigned for Proposition 62, which would have ended the state’s death penalty and was rejected by voters this month.

News

State’s vaccination law under fire

A vaccination in progress. (Photo: Komsan Loonprom)

At least three lawsuits have been filed seeking to overturn California’s new law that prevents children from attending public or private school or day care without getting mandatory vaccinations.

News

California gets C-minus for integrity

One night in March 2014, state Senator Leland Yee stood before a fancy dinner thrown in San Francisco by the Society of Professional Journalists to receive the Public Official Award — for a second time. Yee, then a candidate for secretary of state, was saluted for “his courage to oppose his own Democratic Party leaders and the governor in 2013 with public criticism of efforts to weaken the California Public Records Act.” A week later, a handcuffed Yee appeared in federal court, accused of taking bribes, political racketeering and even running guns in the Philippines.

News

‘California rule’ at center stage in pension dispute

Some thought an appeal of a court ruling blocking a key part of a San Jose pension reform could lead to a high court review of the “California rule,” an issue in an initiative ballot summary issued last week by Attorney General Kamala Harris. But dropping an appeal of the Superior Court ruling is part of a settlement of union suits against the voter-approved pension reform that could soon be implemented by court action

News

In bankrupt San Bernardino, firefighting at crucial juncture

San Bernardino firefighters on the front lines. (Photo: Sheri Armstrong)

Bankrupt San Bernardino’s plan to cut costs by contracting for firefighter and other services has been aided by legislation and a court ruling. But a shortage of firefighters is causing a rough transition. A second fire station was closed earlier this month and others were hit with temporary “brownout” closures, delaying response times. New hires for 14 firefighter vacancies are not expected to complete training until next month.

News

Pension initiative draws unions’ fire

School workers at a labor rally in Bakersfield. (Photo: Richard Thornton, Shutterstock)

A union coalition contends that a proposed initiative is being falsely portrayed as only a potential cut in pensions for new employees, when in fact it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for work done in the future. One of the initiative authors, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, disagrees with the union reading of the proposal. But it’s a key pension reform issue that could lead to another disputed initiative title and summary.

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