|Wednesdays at 8pm, AMC Conference Room, 3rd Floor Memorial Union|
|Associated Students, University of California, Davis|
The Court of the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis is legally one of three coequal branches of the Associated Students, University of California, Davis. Charged with the ultimate authority to interpret the wording of the ASUCD Constitution and that of legislation enacted pursuant to the Constitution, it has the power to review previously enacted legislation made by the Senate following a written request by any ASUCD member(s), and review complaints regarding the Elections Committee or any other office or body of ASUCD. This power is derived from Article VII of the ASUCD Constitution.
The Court currently operates on an Annual Budget of 99 American Dollars out of the Associations $10+ million annual budget.
The Court consists of nine members, nominated by the ASUCD President and confirmed by the ASUCD Senate. The Chief Justice is chosen from among these by the same process. Justices serve until they graduate, resign, or are indicted and impeached. Justices may be permanently removed by a two-thirds vote of the ASUCD Senate only after an indictment hearing conducted by the Internal Affairs Commission.
If any ASUCD member feels that an ASUCD officer is not conducting their job correctly, or ASUCD legislation is not consistent with ASUCD Constitution and/or ASUCD Bylaws, they may file a complaint with Student Government Administrative Office through a complaint form. Following which SGAO will notify the Court and you'll hear from the Court with further instructions when they've decided whether or not to take the case.
Further, Preemptive Writs and Injunctions have been instituted as of the 2012-2013 term to aid the Jurisdiction of the Court. It allows ASUCD members to petition the court to issue writs to prevent imminent illegal actions contravening to the ASUCD Constitution and legislation enacted pursuant to it. If the Bench deems the evidence accompanied to be sufficient proof of imminent illegal actions, then the Court may issue a writ described within chapter ten of the ASUCD Judicial Codes, those writs shall be legally binding until such time as it is challenged, following which the issue will be escalated into a full hearing. Petitions forms for the issuance of writs are available again in the Student Government Administrative Office.
The Court currently meets in the AMC Conference Room, 3rd Floor of the Memorial Union.
The Court currently consists of (in order of seniority):
|Position||Justice||Appointed By||Date Seated||Year|
|Chief Justice||Hon. Wooju Kim||Carly Sandstrom||December 2013||Class of 2015|
|Vice Chief Justice||Hon. Jefferson Chau*||Rebecca Sterling||June 2012||Class of 2014|
|Associate Justice||Hon. Jason Trinidad*||Rebecca Sterling||October 2012||Class of 2014|
|Associate Justice||Hon. Abel Wang||Rebecca Sterling||October 2012||Class of 2014|
|Associate Justice||Hon. Shayda Rashidi||Rebecca Sterling||October 2012||Class of 2016|
|Associate Justice||Hon. April Johnson||Rebecca Sterling||October 2012||Class of 2014|
*Served as Vice Chief Justice
Former Chief Justices
Hon. Robert Clarke: The first Chief Justice appointed by ASUCD President Peter Nguyen following passage of the Democracy at Davis Amendment which established the Court.
Hon. Megan Kern: Second Chief Justice of the Association.
Hon. Mathew Chan: Chief Justice who presided over the precedent case Spurgeon et Mercy v. Ponce et Craemer (17 ASUCD 2000)
Hon. Kris Fricke: The current holder for longest serving Chief Justice in the Association and previous holder of the longest serving Justice, he was highly instrumental in rebuilding the Court following the schism that occurred in 2001 (Infra Bledsoe).
Hon. Missy Lyla Whitney: A highly influential Chief Justice, Known for presiding over an era of stability for the Judicial Branch, her tenure as Chief Justice still serves as a model for the current Court.
Hon. Emma Seche: The longest serving Justice in the history of the Court since it's reformation in 1995. Appointed by then President Joe Chatham she served a total of 12 quarters on the Court (a life term) from November 2009 til June of 2013, surpassing the previous record holder Kris Fricke by a quarter. During her term she served 3 quarters as Chief Justice, 1 as Vice Chief Justice and 8 as an Associate Justice. Highly instrumental in the rebuilding the Court following her two predecessors short lived terms [Infra Dias v. Thongsvat (49 ASUCD 2011)].
Former Associate Justices
Hon. Jaspreet Bahia: Appointed by Former President Jack Zwald and served from March 2011-September 2013. Previously a writer for the California Aggie.
Hon. Tiglath Ziyeh: Appointed by Former President Jack Zwald and served from April 2010-June 2013
Hon. Baldeep Sidhu
Hon. Jeremy Koo: Served as Acting Chief Justice following the retirement of Chief Justice Whitney in 2010. Currently attending The University of San Francisco's Law School.
Hon. Kirstin Miller
Hon. Kaitlyn Clark
Hon. David Karimi
Hon. Geoffrey DeBoskey
Hon. Russell Manning
Hon. Kevin Powers
Hon. Joe Harney
Hon. Michael Aguilera
Hon. Daniel Raff
Hon. Michael Reiser
Hon. Mona Sharif
Hon. Rudy Ornelas
Hon. Filipp Ovchinnikov
Hon. Daniel Maroon
Hon. Ryan Meyerhoff: Served on the Court from Feburary of 2009 til September of 2010, and served as Vice Chief Justice for 3 quarters, Later became ASUCD Elections Committee Chairperson and ASUCD Senator. Currently attending UC Davis School of Law, served as the Secretary of the Law Students Association and currently is the Treasurer of the American Bar Association's Student Division.
Hon. Aaron Bloom: The first Vice President of the Association following the reformation of ASUCD in 1995, later became a Justice of the Court.
Justin Goss v. Jared Crisologo-Smith (50 ASUCD 2012): The Respondent then Senator Jared Crisologo-Smith was found guilt of violating the ASUCD Constitution by a 8-0-1 vote of the bench as he had motion and carried a vote to remove then Senate Pro Tempore Justin Goss on the 15th of November 2012. Additionally,it was found that any attempt to move and pass a motion to remove and/or replace a seating President Pro Tempore will be considered UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND THEREFORE NULL AND VOID pursuant to the current ASUCD Constiution and Bylaws. The Majority Opinion was written by Justice Trinidad with Chief Justice Seche; Justices Ziyeh, Chau, Kim, Wang, Rashidi and Johnson concurring. Justice Bahia Chose to abstain.
Alyson Sagala v. Justin Goss (51 ASUCD 2013): The Bench found that ASUCD Bylaw 1002 Section C Subsection 2 falls under the right of the ASUCD Senate to regulate themselves in order to perform their enumerated duties. Any legislation that does not outright prohibit or severely restrict the ability of the ASUCD Senate to allocate resources as they see fit, in the view of this Court, does not violate the Constitutional rights of the Senate, but instead is a regulation by the Senate imposed on themselves. The legislative amendment in question was not proven to be a hindrance to the “smooth and efficient operation of the Association”; the bench agrees with the Respondent that the ASUCD Senate passed SB 26 with the intention to improve efficiency and continuity of funding for grants and general programs. The bench finds the Respondent not guilty, and thus the legislation that he authored and represented was found to be in accordance with the ASUCD Constitution and Bylaws by a 3-6-0 vote. Therefore no action pertaining to the Petitioner or the Respondent will be ordered, and BL 1002(C)(2) will continue to be in effect ,as determined by the ASUCD Senate.The Majority Opinion was written by then Chief Justice Seche with Justices Ziyeh ,Bahia ,Chau ,Trinidad and Johnson concurring. Justices Kim, Wang and Rashidi dissenting; However, no dissenting opinion was written.
Felicia Ong v. Rylan Shaeffer et Tanzi Jackson et Desirae Costello (# ASUCD 2013): Remanded to petitioner due to incomplete paperwork
The Prehistoric Court
The pre-history of the Court is shrouded in myths and legends as record keeping in ASUCD seems to be shockingly bad. In fact, though some recent Opinions have been submitted to SGAO multiple times as word documents, and they even printed them out and posted them, they still profess not to have them on record anymore.
The ASUCD Court was created in its recognizable form in 1995 as the Supreme Court through the Democracy at Davis constitutional amendment. Just like in the federal government, the ASUCD Senate was empowered to create inferior courts, like an elections court, whose decisions could be appealed to the ASUCD Supreme Court. However, this power was never used. In 1996, over the objections of then ASUCD President Peter Nguyen and ASUCD Vice President Aaron Bloom, the ASUCD Senate reduced the stipends of members of the ASUCD Supreme Court, citing a lack of activity. Nguyen and Bloom, as founders of the new system of government, pointed out that the Court was a passive branch of government which could only respond to cases filed by plaintiffs and that it should be accorded co-equal status to the other 2 branches. In the first seven years there were allegedly eight cases, five of which were in 1995 regarding elections issues. (source: Background on Constitutional Amendment 1 of 2001)
In 2001 the ASUCD Supreme Court disqualified the Bledsoe/Beaman executive ticket of the LEAD party for "massive cheating worse than Ukraine in 2004" (they were very prescient back then). Bledsoe, self proclaimed "Black Caesar of ASUCD", then threatened to sue ASUCD, the Court, the Administration, and anyone else remotely involved back into the stone age. Under threat of this impending legal holocaust, the Court reversed its ruling and allowed "the Reverend" Tiqula Bledsoe to take office. Like the Romans razing Carthage to the ground and salting its former soil, Bledsoe Maximus wanted to triumphantly squash his nemesis, the judiciary, and had its name changed legally to the ASUCD Court, and extralegally to Student Court, with Chairpersons and Members (see Identity Crisis, below). Also, and very significantly, all matters relating to elections were removed from the Court's jurisdiction. Having succeeded in this he then treated himself to the spoils of ASUCD, using government funds to pay for limos and parking tickets (not an exaggeration). Bledsoe would go on to be remembered for years to come for an administration marked by capricious misuse of ASUCD funds.
There followed a year during which the Court was so crushed that it did not even meet. Cases were filed (by Lamar Heystek, and Kris Fricke among others), but the plaintiffs in many cases never heard back from the Court once the complaint was filed. When the Court resumed activity with the D1 Case, it was designated Case # 19; obviously this doesn't add up to the eight cases previously mentioned, unless ten were filed during the year of inactivity. The truth to this matter is unclear.
In the winter of 2002, the Court had a major case regarding the move to D1. It hinged upon a misprint in the Codes that led to confusion as to whether or not the referendum to place the Move to D1 question on the ballot. The majority of the Court found that the referendum had indeed been placed incorrectly on the ballot and declared it therefore null and void. Newly appointed Justice Kris Fricke was the sole dissenter, claiming that yes there was clearly a mistake in the process through which the referendum ended up on the ballot, but the Court did not have jurisdiction over elections and should have handed the case back to the Elections Committee once it had examined and interpreted the contested codes. In response to this declaration, the ASUCD Executive Office stated "we believe [the Court] is only advisory" (obviously they had skipped over the part in the Constitution which mentions binding opinions). The Court subsequently met with the UC Davis legal council, who informed them that Justice Kris Fricke was in fact correct and they were fairly far from the recognized path of legal norms. Within a month the previous Chief Justice resigned, and Justice Fricke was confirmed as the new Chief Justice just in time to swear in a new executive office.
Under the Fricke Administration, the Court considered six cases the following year.
The Identity Crisis
In 2001 a Constitutional Amendment was passed changing the name of the principal judicial organ of ASUCD from "ASUCD Supreme Court" to "ASUCD Court." In the copies of the Constitution and bylaws produced by SGAO, the change was rendered to "Student Court," and in an overzealous rampage of derision, they proceeded to change every instance of "Justice" to "Member," and "Chief Justice" to "Chairperson," among other things.
After thorough discussion of the subject, the Court has determined that the references to "Student Court" etc, having never been legally rendered, are erroneous and that this constitutes a continuing erroneous behavior until it is changed in the copies that the SGAO is producing. In the Winter of 2005 a Constitutional Amendment was passed which intentionally referred to the Court as the ASUCD Court. Thus that name has both been determined to be the accurate one through analysis of historical legislation, but has been reaffirmed by a Constitutional amendment (which takes precedence over any previous conflicting references or references in subordinate bodies). As of this writing, references to "Student Court" have been removed from all ASUCD bylaws, but the term remains in verbal use by more antiquated individuals.
During the 2004/2005 year no cases were filed. Some senators took this to mean that ASUCD had become a utopian society and no longer needed the ASUCD Supreme Court. During the Candidates Forum in Fall 2005 candidate Kongo Aguilera said he saw no role in ASUCD for the Court. Shortly following that election four cases were filed. The candidates will not be seated until the case regarding the election is resolved. Without the role of the Court in the association, it is hard to imagine a resolution to this situation which would not involve the dubious overriding of bylaws, a cry of injustice and public opinion fiasco, or both.
Kongo Aguilera was subsequently appointed to the Court.
In recent years the Court has undergone reformation to closer match it's counterpart in the US Federal Government the United States Supreme Court.
During the Seche Court's reforms, professionalism and procedural fairness became a priority. All cases were reformatted and made available on the main site. Previously lost files were rediscovered and reintegrated into the system. Trial Procedures were rewritten as to facilitate smoother proceedings. Further, under the Seche Court, the Bench saw a total of Five cases and seven advisory opinions ( Busiest year since 2005/6). None of which has has been non acquiesced by the other two branches of the Association, which had previously plagued Courts of the Past. A testament to the reforms. The Court's administrative bureaucracy was greatly expanded in order to better facilitate the reform process. It should be noted that the Court is also the least funded of the Three Branches of the Association. Supra prehistoric history all Justices and Clerks are unpaid volunteers.
Currently ASUCD Court Opinions are available on the main site at http://asucd.ucdavis.edu/court-verdicts/ . Further all case opinions are stored within the Student Government Administrative Office and are available for review by members of ASUCD upon request.
Court Deliberations starting with the 2012-2013 term are available on the ASUCD main site under http://asucd.ucdavis.edu/resources/government-documents/court-deliberations/
The Judicial Codes (JC) serve as the procedural guidelines for the day to day functioning of the court and are available at the following link of http://asucd.ucdavis.edu/resources/government-documents/ under Judicial Documents and are organized under as follows:
Judicial Code One: Definition and Rules for Adoption of the Judicial Codes.
Judicial Code Two: Structure.
Judicial Code Three: Quorum and Attendance at Hearings and Meetings.
Judicial Code Four: Judicial Guidelines, Ethics, and Oaths of Office.
Judicial Code Five: Complaint Process.
Judicial Code Six: Hearing Formats and Pre Hearings
Judicial Code Seven: Oral Argument Based Hearings
Judicial Code Eight: Evidence Based Hearings
Judicial Code Nine: Case Deliberation and Opinions
Judicial Code Ten: Writs and Injunctions
* Note that Judicial Codes Six Through Nine have been revised and are currently undergoing integration to be available during Fall Quarter of 2013
The Judicial Directives have been ABOLISHED by a unanimous vote of the Court during the 2012-2013 term.