State Law

Replacing Judges with Computers Is Risky

February 20, 2018

Adopting technology for the sake of having it is an unwise move. Last year, the California Judicial Council proposed that California’s criminal courts jump on a failing bandwagon to inhibit and effectively replace judicial discretion with computer-based algorithms. The present judicial system already assesses each defendant, their previous criminal history, and ties to the community….

Quentin L. Kopp

Municipal Suffrage, Sanctuary Cities, and the Contested Meaning of Citizenship

January 19, 2018

In November 2016, the city of San Francisco enacted a ballot initiative that was somewhat overshadowed by other election results. It permitted noncitizens with children in the public school system to vote in school board elections. Though it is unclear whether the measure will have much practical impact on the city schools, the measure has…

Kenneth Stahl

Criminal Justice Reform Starts and Ends with the States

January 11, 2018

Criminal justice reform has the attention of the country, but it is at the state and local level where reform will be implemented. Much of the conversation about criminal justice reform has revolved around high-profile incidents in major U.S. cities like Cleveland and New York City — and on what the federal Department of Justice…

State Senator Eric P. Lesser

State Attorneys General And the Battle Against Federal Agency Overreach

December 11, 2017

Federal agencies overstepping their statutory and constitutional authorities, in order to aggregate power to the Executive Branch, has become an issue of especial concern in recent years in the legal academy. We saw this when President Barack Obama declared his intent to direct agencies to achieve through executive fiat what he had failed to secure…

Misha Tseytlin

Reforming Criminal Justice in an Era of Mass Deportation

During the Obama administration, officials deported a record number of immigrants, immigrant detention ballooned, and immigration crimes became the majority of federal prosecutions. Since President Trump took office, these trends have only intensified. As outlined in his January 25, 2017 Executive Order, the administration intends to hire thousands of new immigration officers, deny federal funding…

Ingrid Eagly

Costs of Money Bail to Justice

More than 200,000 bail bonds are posted in California each year, generating $308 million in non-refundable premium fees from accused persons, their families, and friends who post bail for them. Being detained in custody pretrial, even for a short period of time, can threaten an individual’s employment, housing, financial stability, and family. With roughly 90%…

Honorable Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye