California’s chief justice admitted Thursday that keeping the state’s courts open during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was not always “kumbaya,” but she said the judiciary discovered a new source of equity and efficiency through remote proceedings and is not going to give it up.

During a virtual event hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said throughout the pandemic she found herself in the middle with the state’s Judicial Council—the policymaking body of the judiciary—and stakeholders to find out which counties needed more support and what needed to be prioritized. Across California’s 58 state courts, the judiciary issued 600 emergency orders to keep court operations moving.

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