Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Celebrating Presiding Justice Sills

Frank Mickadeit at the OC Register covered yesterday's tribute to Presiding Justice Sills.  You can read the entire article here.  Below are some portions:

"[T]he assemblage at the Reagan federal courthouse made history in [Presiding Justice Sills'] honor. As 125 people looked on in person – and at least an equal number did so via closed-circuit TV from nearby courtrooms – a U.S. marshal called to order the U.S. District Court, presided over by O.C.'s senior federal judge, David Carter. A moment later, a clerk [Toni Cajigal]of the California Court of Appeal division based in O.C. called to order that body, presided over by its senior justice, William Rylaarsdam. Carter and Rylaarsdam were joined on the bench by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye."

"The joint federal-state court session was 'literally a first,' said Carter, who worked with state appellate Justice Richard Fybel to organize the event. Carter, like Sills, a Marine, ran it with precision, punctuality and a big dose of patriotism. A Marine Corps color guard presented the flags. The Saddleback Master Chorale sang 'The Star Spangled Banner' and 'America the Beautiful.' A tall Marine captain escorted Sills' widow, Susan LaCroix Sills, to her seat and then stood stock still for the duration of the indoor portion of the ceremony, for which Carter allotted exactly 45 minutes."

"After the federal courtroom ceremony, about 200 people walked across the street to the state courthouse, where outside a Marine rifle team fired three volleys and a flag was presented to Mrs. Sills. I asked Carter, who was standing next to me, 'I thought Sills didn't want this. What would he say?'"

"'He's a Marine,' Carter replied. 'We weren't going to leave him out there. We were coming to get him.'"