Jan. 4, 2019
Politically Impartial Justices Not Just 'Useful Fiction' on California Supreme Court
As U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts tries to minimize perceptions of politically motivated federal courts, the California Constitution Center has published a quantitative study showing that partisan background is, in fact, a poor predictor of California Supreme Court justice voting behavior. Brandon Stracener, the group's senior research fellow, discusses his study's finding on that and other points. Meanwhile, Professor Richard Abel (UCLA Law) explains how his new scholarship undercuts Roberts' efforts, and whether the 'useful fiction' of a neutral judiciary has merit, anyway. Plus, criminal justice reporter Paula Ewing describes a rare move of the state high court to block several of departing Gov. Brown's grants of clemency.