Institutionalized Socioeconomic Bias
Earlier this year, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the state Judicial Council were engulfed in a nationwide firestorm of controversy when a report released by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area revealed that traffic courts throughout the state were trapping the poor in long cycles of poverty using fines, fees and driver license revocations.
Family court whistleblowers have catalogued examples showing that similar, institutionalized socioeconomic bias occurs in family courts, where more than 70 percent of court users cannot afford to hire an attorney. "This is a statewide epidemic of the same scale as the traffic courts scandal," said Ulf Carlsson, a whistleblower and former state employee. "Like they did in that debacle, the Supreme Court is playing deaf, dumb and blind to the problems."