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NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Editorial: Fight crime, not futility: Abolish death penalty

August 25, 2016 | San Francisco Chronicle
Californians have been offered two options on the Nov. 8 ballot to “fix” a system of capital punishment that all sides agree has produced enormous legal bills, no semblance of deterrence to would-be murderers and too little justice to victims’ loved ones over the past four decades.

State Bar Bill, Amid Rancor, Passes Hurdle

August 25, 2016 | The Recorder
Members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee blasted the state bar as dysfunctional, accused its leaders of obstructionism and questioned whether the often-criticized organization would ever change.

Editorial: Now that the Vergara case is over, let's reform teacher tenure laws

August 24, 2016 | Los Angeles Times
The state Supreme Court made the right call this week when it left in place a lower court's ruling that the teacher tenure system at California public schools does not violate students’ constitutional rights. But even though they’re not unconstitutional, the tenure laws are still problematic, and the Legislature needs to fix them.

Driver amnesty program cut back in proposed legislation

August 24, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A bill to extend an amnesty program that has allowed thousands of people to regain their drivers' licenses has been slashed due to concerns over how it would affect court funding.

State audit slams California's weak oversight of psych drugs for foster kids

August 24, 2016 | Mercury News
A scathing audit that one lawmaker said "confirms our worst fears" revealed a startling new finding into how poorly the state's child welfare system monitors the medicating of California's foster children: Most youth on psychiatric drugs are prescribed the medications without a court or parent's required approval.

Supreme Court enforces statute to prevent prosecutorial forum shopping

August 23, 2016 | At the Lectern
In People v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court today strengthens a statute the court states is intended to “prohibit[ ] prosecutorial forum shopping” in situations where the State dismisses and then re-files criminal charges after a judge has granted a motion to suppress evidence.

California Supreme Court decision leaves state’s teacher tenure law in place

August 22, 2016 | Washington Post
The California Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case challenging the state’s laws on teacher tenure, dismissal and layoffs, a decision that leaves the laws in place and hands a major victory to teachers’ unions.

Competing State Bar Bills Emerge as Session Nears End

August 22, 2016 | The Recorder
Only days after the Assembly introduced an amended, last-ditch-effort state bar dues bill, a Senate lawmaker on Monday unveiled a competing measure, ratcheting up the political conflict over what is typically a mundane piece of legislation.

Restored voting rights sought for California disabled people

August 22, 2016 | Associated Press
Under California's new law, seniors and others with disabilities that are assigned conservators to manage their financial and other affairs keep the right to vote unless a court finds "clear and convincing evidence" that they can't express a desire to exercise it.

State high court to consider federal workplace law

August 22, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) At the request of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the state Supreme Court will consider whether a federal rule that favors employers in compensation disputes can be applied to wage and hour claims brought under California law.
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