Legal-aspects1-300x199Meetings of local government bodies are kept open by the Brown Act.  For state boards and commissions in the executive branch, it’s the Bagley-Keene Act. The Legislature’s open meeting obligation is in the state constitution. But for want of such an unambiguous mandate for transparency, California’s  judicial branch, providing the tribunals where all these other sunshine laws are enforced,  is governed by a network of policy-making and advisory bodies most of whose meetings are held behind closed doors.  The rationale seems to be, Cheryl Miller reports in The Recorder, that these meetings are presumed to be closed because no law presumes them to be public.  But Californians Aware and others say that’s got it backwards, given a constitutional amendment in 2004.