Interview: California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Proposition 8

Photo: Office of Judge Cantil-Sakauy

Over the last year, we’ve heard a lot about the Proposition 8lawsuit from a lot of people.

 

None of those people, however, have been the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, which will decide the key issue of whether Prop 8 proponents have standing, or the legal right to defend the measure, later this year.

 

Well, until now, that is. Scott Shafer interviewed Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on KQED’s Forum this morning, and she had some interesting things to say about the Proposition 8 lawsuit.

Cantil-Sakauye addressed the question of standing, which the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court handed to the California justices to decide. She also defended the state court’s scheduling of the case, the expedited timeline of which she called “unprecedented,” despite the request of anti-Prop 8 lawyers for an even faster resolution. And she addressed a frequent point of contention: whether judges let their personal beliefs interfere with their decisions: “I believe that in my 20 years I have not ever seen a judge be influenced by his or her personal beliefs on the matter,” she said. “I think perhaps there might be an evolution of a judge, so that one who is a new and inexperienced judge is going to face those questions for the first time, and that in facing those questions for first time is going to have to harken back to his or her oath, and remember that you are making these decisions on these issues regardless of how political they are based on the constitution and the rule of law. Over time..that becomes easier and easier and easier.”

“We’re not a particularly political group,” she added. “Our focus is really narrow.”

Listen to the segment:

California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Proposition 8

The full show archive will be available later today.

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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