The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 5, 2010
Anthony Kennedy hits union, 'three strikes'; Harman fires back

100205 Anthony Kennedy.JPGState senator v. Supreme Court justice, mano a mano.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who hails from Sacramento, earlier this week criticized U.S. prison sentencing policies and zeroed in on California's "three-strikes" law as particularly troublesome. He also hammered "the correctional officers' union," calling CCPOA's support of three-strikes sentencing "sick." Click here to read the LA Times account of Kennedy's remarks at Pepperdine University.

100205 Tom Harman.JPGThe judge's opinion prompted state Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, to issue an e-mail blast on Thursday with the headline, "Three-Strikes is not 'sick' but lenient early release policies are."

The closing graph of the release:

With all due respect to Justice Kennedy, the day to day issues facing a U.S. Supreme Court Justice in no way resemble the day to day issues facing California's law enforcement officials and district attorneys. I can only hope when our appeal of the federal-three judges' action on prison over-crowding reaches him, that he can be open-minded and fair.

IMAGES: Anthony Kennedy (top) / Sacramento Bee, 2009; Tom Harman / Sacramento Bee, 2006

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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