In discussing the constitutional prohibition against a judge's salary being reduced during his/her term in office:
"Adrienne Grover, presiding judge of the Monterey County Superior Court, said the provision ensures the independence of the judiciary. Judges might hesitate to rule against a law passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor if they felt their salaries could be cut in retaliation. [Judge] Maldonado said the protection is so central to American values that it was one of 64 grounds cited in the Declaration of Independence."
The Declaration of Independence cited the colonists' reasons for revolution against King George III's abuses of power, including: "He has made Judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."
King Ronald George I exercises much the same power over California judges today, and it's equally as reprehensible now as it was 233 years ago. In fact, in 1776, it was so wrong, it was worth starting a trans-Atlantic war over. We escaped tyranny then; do today's Americans' have the same fortitude? The efforts of the volunteer team supporting Richard Fine are welcome evidence that we do indeed.
We await now the Ninth Circuit's decision in Fine's appeal. Do Justices Reinhardt, Trott and Wardlaw possess the integrity and bravery needed to act at this historical nexus? Here's hoping that the hero worship that would follow a righteous decision will be a more attractive choice than the revilement that will follow a decision providing yet another coat of transparent paint atop the on-going cover-up.