What was the gang of five’s methodology in coming up with 17 exemptions?

Posted on November 22, 2013


It’s pretty easy to draw a straight line between the desired seventeen exemptions to public participation in judicial branch meetings and the desire ensure that there is no public participation. They made them broad exemptions that permit almost any committee chair to opt out of public participation by exempting themselves for nearly any reason their feeble little minds can dream up. But how exactly did the gang of five come up with the seventeen exemptions?

Did they seek public, media, branch or other stakeholder input before drafting the seventeen exemptions?

The five members of the council who developed the preliminary draft include Justice Miller, Justice Harry E. Hull, Jr., chair of the Rules and Projects Committee; Judge Mary Ann O’Malley, chair of the Litigation Management Committee; Judge Ken K. So, chair of the Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee; and Judge James E. Herman, chair of the Technology Committee. – See more at: http://courts.ca.gov/24084.htm#sthash.D2mcDrwv.dpuf

Nope. The gang of five just pulled them out of their ass and thought they would be a swell way to demonstrate judicial branch transparency to the media and the public.

Much like a public record that can serve to hold people accountable, decisions made in public meetings can also serve to hold people accountable. Public meetings of judicial branch committees is a direct threat to the leadership because it would expose the machinations of policy decisions, demonstrating once and for all that your participation in an external subcommittee and your opinion doesn’t matter a rats ass if it isn’t in lock step with the more powerful members of the internal committees and the council itself.

It only makes sense that if you wish to preserve your dictatorial powers that you do all that is necessary to preventing others gaining knowledge about your processes and methodology. The powers that be already appoint all of the chairs and co-chairs of all committees, By granting them extraordinary rights to exempt their work from public scrutiny judicial branch policy will continue to be a back room deal conducted by a few insiders.

Meanwhile they get to profess that over 400 hard-working judges work to shape policy within the branch by sitting on committees, subcommittees, task forces and commissions. Yet the policy is really shaped by the insider appointees and AOC leadership who facilitate, chair and co-chair the committees and work closely with the leadership to ensure that in those back rooms outside the public view they’re all working towards a set of common “one voice” goals.

It’s time for a little democracy and a lot less taxation without representation. We suspect that the release of Georges memoirs was timed to coincide with the promulgation and pubic comment regarding this rule because it was intended to serve as a sleight of hand distraction, Fortunately for the branch, King George doesn’t warrant that much attention.