Manson follower wins, Fr. Serra loses in Cal. courts: Legal News This Week Ending June 2, 2023

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
June 2, 2023

Here are some legal trends and trivia from this week:

  • Justice Jackson, still in first year on SCOTUS, pens solo dissent in labor case Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters. First time a first-termer has penned a solo dissent since Justice Thomas in 1991. (Via Adam Feldman)
  • Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who took part in murders, is entitled to parole after spending more than 50 years behind bars, a California appeals court ruled, reversing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to deny her release. (LA Times)
  • Court of Appeal holds Ventura could get rid of statute of Father Serra, rejecting historical and environmental challenges. (MetNews) (The court may be right. But for the reasons I wrote in an essay a few years ago, “Why did Constantinople get the works? That’s nobody’s business but…”, the city’s decision is unfortunate.)
  • Cal. Supreme Court announces it will hear argument on June 27 on the high-profile, long-pending voting rights case, Pico Neighborhood Association v. City of Santa Monica, involving the issue: “What must a plaintiff prove in order to establish vote dilution under the California Voting Rights Act?” (Via David Ettinger.)
  • Ninth Circuit says order disqualifying all prosecutors in the district is unjustified as an “extreme remedy” where only one AUSA’s conduct was questioned. (MetNews)
  • No right for a criminal defendant to be present at the jury verdict, despite clear constitutional mandate, Court of Appeal holds. (Via Shaun Martin)
  • Cal. Supreme Court scores high in diversity study. (David Ettinger)

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys at Contact Tim at or (714) 641-1232.

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