Chief justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye of CA Supreme Court: The courthouse is not the place for immigration enforcement

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This is a must-read Washington Post opinion piece from chief justice on the California state Supreme Court Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

Years ago, when I was a trial court judge in Sacramento, the husband of one of my court staffers murdered their two children in front of her, beat her and then killed himself. All of us were unaware of her problems at home, as well as the fear and shame that drove her into silence.

Soon after this tragedy, I began a “domestic violence court” — a specialized court that aids victims and holds offenders accountable by connecting the justice system with social service agencies. It’s a model that works. But, like everything else in the justice system, it only works if it has the trust, confidence and cooperation of all of the participants.

It is my concern for the trust and confidence in our state court system that prompted me last month to ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly not to make immigration arrests at or near courthouses. Our state courts are on the front line of justice in the United States: We handle more than 90 percent of the nation’s case filings each year. I am asking that immigration agents treat courthouses as “sensitive” areas — as they do schools, churches and hospitals.


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