Chief Justice not pleased with comment on her looks

cantil-sakauye-nbc4.jpgCalifornia Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke out today in Beverly Hills on the remark that Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon made at a recent hearing on his bill to strip her of some powers to oversee the courts. From Conan Nolan at Prop Zero, NBC's California politics blog:

During a legislative hearing on the bill he stated that “It isn’t ‘is she nice?’ because she is. ‘Is she smart?’ because she is. ‘Is she attractive?” ‘cause she is. It isn’t about that.”

Would the “attractiveness” of a male chief justice ever be brought up on a legislative debate? Doubt it. But it wasn’t the sexism that irked Cantil-Sakauye. It was the disrespect paid to the branch of government that is now her responsibility..

“I was troubled by that because that kind of comment came in a substantive hearing” she said during a break at Tuesday’s luncheon with the Beverly Hills Bar Association. .”If we are at a dinner, at some sort of celebration and a comment like that was made, that would be different.”

Instead the assemblyman used the “attractiveness” line as part of a question from those critical of his bill.

The Chief was not pleased.

“When it comes from a majority leader in the context of a very serious hearing where courts are lining up, where all the attorneys there are on the side of judicial counsel opposing that bill, and a critical question is asked ‘why are you taking this power away from the new chief justice four months into her administration?’ that is when that answer is unresponsive, offensive and is not at all responsive to the question," Cantil-Sakauye said.

More on the blog.

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