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NCJ Number: 98095 Find in a Library
Title: Judicial Misconduct in California
Journal: San Fernando Valley Law Review  Volume:11  Dated:(1983)  Pages:43-69
Author(s): C A Lewis
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 27
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the Californian system for removal of judges for misconduct. It concludes that California judges have been removed from the bench only for the most flagrant sorts of misconduct.
Abstract: In 1960, California voters approved a constitutional ammendment creating the California Commission on Judicial creating the California Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the first board in the country whose purpose was to investigate complaints of misconduct. It receives, considers, and investigates complaints and if warranted, recommends that California Supreme Court order public censure or removal of the judge from the bench. Ammendments since 1960 have enhanced the commission's powers and resulted in a name change to the Commission on Judicial Performance. Major issues arising from case law on judicial misconduct have included the meaning of bad faith, the addition of charges during hearing, confidentiality of commission proceedings, the imposition of harsher sanctions than those recommended by the commission, factors considered in mitigation of punishment, and speech as misconduct. The commission is accomplishing its goal of eliminating unfit judges from the bench. Although the California Supreme Court is rarely asked to remove a judge from office, scores of judges under commission investigation have resigned voluntarily rather than petition for court hearing. Recommendations for improving the overall system are offered. A total of 123 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): California; Judge censure and removal; Judicial conduct and ethics; Professional misconduct; State Judicial Conduct Commissions
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