Thursday, September 30, 2010
Judges Being Asked to Take Unpaid Furloughs
Connecticut State Representative Zeke Zalaski has an offer they can't refuse. Zalaski argues that if these judges don't take a furlough, they shouldn't get a reappointment. The Courant quotes Zalaksi as such: "I understand we have a separation of powers in our state Constitution, but the legislature does have the power of reappointment. Let's tie their reappointment to whether or not they take furlough days or take unpaid time off." What's important to remember that the judges were asked to take furlough days retroactively or repay the state. They were not ordered to do so. The question remains "is such an order constitutional?" Damn that separation of powers.
Publications like the Connecticut Post argue that judges should take the furlough. After all, they are state employees and "no more important than any other hard-working state employee." As a practicing attorney, I have to disagree. This is a narrow view of the issue. Constitutional concerns aside, my objection is a more practical one.
Let's be frank, judges are more important than many state employees. If somebody takes a day off at the DMV info desk, chances are someone else can step up to the counter. A judge takes a day off and a multitude of people are put in disarray including public defenders, private attorneys, prosecutors, and the general public . Cases are continued, dockets get even more crowded and more work is created for everyone. The savings from the furlough will be moot. What's your opinion?
Posted 9:26 AM