A Dramatic Loss of Judicial Power...Literally: Freak ‘Power Surge’ Cripples State Building

Static%20Electricity.jpgBy Joe Eskenazi

While right-wingers traditionally gripe about so-called activist judges, San Francisco was laden with a bevy of inactvist judges last week when a so-far unexplained power failure darkened the State Building.

Prodigious quantities of Mountain Dew were likely imbibed over the weekend as PG&E and state IT workers scrambled through all hours in an attempt to restore electricity following what was described as a freak "power surge." According to a longtime employee within the building, the Department of Worker’s Compensation, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals were all crippled by the outage. State employees – and litigants – showing up for Thursday and Friday court dates with the Supreme Court were sent home.

A set of fuses was flown in from Oklahoma on Friday, and hectic repair work continued throughout the weekend (“Servers are down and they are trying to re-route and use generators” reported one employee on Sunday).

By Monday, power had been partially restored to the building, but disarray continued. It is unknown if state servers sustained damage or lost data. Meanwhile, backlogged information retrieval jobs and re-filing of court dates are burdening already overtaxed workers.

To make matters worse, the courts had just premiered a new all-computerized system sans the traditional last-scene-of-“Raiders of the Lost Ark”-volume of paper files.

So, early in the game, it’s Luddites 1, Technology 0 at the State Building.

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