The Commission on the Future of California's Courts has sent an interim report to Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye proposing a method to reallocate vacant judgeships to courts with the greatest workload needs.
A 2014 judicial needs study evaluated the impact of growth and shifts in population on local courts' ability to adjudicate civil, criminal, juvenile, and family law cases. The study found that California needs nearly 270 new judgeships to adequately operate the courts and serve the public. It also found that shifts in population have left some courts disproportionately affected.
The Futures Commission proposal suggests that legislation could partially address the problem. When a current judicial position becomes open, it could be reallocated to another court, if the need is greater there. The proposal would not change the Legislature's authority to create and fund judgeships or the Governor's authority to appoint judges.