2022 Opening General Session (Co-sponsored by LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters)
Recorded On: 07/17/2022
After almost 12 years in office, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye has emerged as one of the country’s leading advocates for equal access to justice, civic education, and reform of court funding models and procedures that unfairly impact the poor. When she was sworn into office in January 2011 as the 28th Chief Justice of California, she was the first person of color and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice.
In recent years, she has raised awareness of the unfair financial impact of fines, fees, and the bail system on the poor, and is a leading national advocate calling for bail system reform.
As leader of California’s judicial branch and chair of the Judicial Council, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has led the judicial branch out of the state’s worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. She has improved the branch’s efficiency, accountability, and transparency in how it conducts business, sets policy, and discloses information. When she became Chief Justice, she opened meetings of the Judicial Council and its advisory bodies that were once closed to the public and has made public comment more accessible. She initiated a review and oversaw changes in court rules that will improve how judicial branch entities prevent and address harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct. During the pandemic, she pushed for remote court operations and issued hundreds of emergency orders so that courts could continue to operate safely. She also launched a program to make retired judges available to fast track the resolution of some criminal cases.
She has been recognized for her early work on domestic violence issues, support for minority bar associations, and for advancing the role of women and minorities in the legal profession. She is a leader in revitalizing civic learning through her Power of Democracy initiative. She, along with other state leaders, fulfilled one of the initiative’s goals in July 2016 when the state Board of Education unanimously approved an instructional framework that encourages civic learning. In 2019, she was honored with the Sandra Day O’Connor Award by the National Center for State Courts for her work inspiring, promoting, and improving civics education.
Recorded at the 2022 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. Please note the opinions shared during the programs represent the views of the speakers and not of AALL.
- Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court
- Diane Rodriguez, San Francisco Law Library
AALL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS: Professionalism + Leadership At Every Level