Snapping off the administrative role to achieve accountability and transparency

Posted on February 17, 2011

7


Edited again because coffee is life and I obviously haven’t had enough today…

Lando Antonatrail brought up a good point in a previous thread and since I completely missed the comments of Judge Steve White, Lando Antonatrail suggested that the AOC has wrongfully enjoyed the umbrella of the judicial immunity for their official acts and suggests the arm needs to be removed so that there is no mistaking the judiciary from the AOC.

The Challenge: The AOC is the administrative offices of the judicial council; a body comprised mostly of judges and justices. When sitting in their judicial council seats or conducting judicial council functions, they are acting as administrators. Lando Antonatrail suggests it is past time to sever the arm from the judicial body.

I don’t disagree. 

The legislature runs all of its programs through executive branch offices and you don’t hear them crying about separation of powers and launching their own software and construction arms.

Similarly, I question the need for the AOC to even have a construction arm. The problem with severing the arm from the judicial body is that Justice Huffman, for example, damn near lives in the AOC’s offices several days a month and runs the show for the judicial council behind the scenes. These two organizations are tied at the hip. It’s really one organization that plays off as being two different organizations. The Governors administrative offices answer to the Governor. The administrators of the legislature answer to their respective legislator. Administrative offices for any organization in government are a part of the organization itself. Except the judicial branch, where someone thought feigning two different organizations was a swell idea.

So when one severs the arm to achieve transparency and accountability, where does the arm get cut?

Edited to add: Severing the arm and telling the severed arm that it must comply, for example, with all executive branch agency standards of things like the brown open meeting act, the california public records act, public contract code and other common sense exemptions the AOC has enjoyed seems from a legislative standpoint, the simplest of solutions.

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