ABA Journal: Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor expressed concern Sunday that not even lawyers and members of the judiciary fully recognize the threat to state courts posed by funding cutbacks being imposed by state legislatures.
“No one, not even lawyers and judges, understands what a financial bind the courts are in,” said O’Connor in a brief interview with the ABA Journal following a program on the current crisis in court funding. As a result, she said, “They’re not ready for the political fights” that may be necessary to assure that legislatures fund the courts at adequate levels. “We have to wake them up.”
O’Connor was one of the panelists at the program sponsored by the Office of the President. Stephen N. Zack of Miami appointed the Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System a year ago when he began his term as ABA president. The panel also included the task force’s co-chairs, David Boies of Armonk, N.Y., and Theodore B. Olson of Washington, D.C.