This year as in past years, the state's Commission on Judicial Performance published a report chronicling the bad behavior of California's judges. And like previous surveys, what this year's report shows most dramatically is how rarely judges are disciplined.
As of 2011, there were 1,786 judges on the bench. But over the past half century, only 25 judges have been removed from office and just 48 were publicly censured. Some of those punished had accumulated a long laundry list of commission admonishments. Others were caught in egregious behavior, like Judge Patrick Couwenberg of Los Angeles County Superior Court, who in 2002 was found to have lied about his judicial credentials and service in combat. And impairment sometimes contributes, as in 1977 when Supreme Court Justice Marshall F. McComb was found to be suffering from senile dementia.
Judging the Judges