Friday, April 22, 2005

International Federation v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - April 18, 2005)

Justice Parrilli writes an excellent -- and important -- opinion in this case. She holds that the right to privacy does not preclude dissemination of salary information for public employees who earn over $100,000, and that these documents are instead public records properly subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. The people have a right to know who (and how much) its high-salaried officers are being paid.

This is the best opinion that I've seen Justice Parrilli write in a while. I also think she's right, and she does a great job of explaining why. The fact that she goes out on a limb to disagree with two other Court of Appeal decisions (City of Los Angeles and Peerless) that are to the contrary to her holding -- and persuasively argues why these cases are either distinguishable (City of Los Angeles) or wrongly decided (Peerless) -- only makes the opinion more impressive.

The resulting split in authority, alongside the importance of the issue, may well result in the case being taken up by the California Supreme Court. But when and if that happens, I think that Justice Parrilli's holding should be affirmed.

Great job, Joanne.