Alameda County Judge Frank Roesch recently ruled in favor of a union-backed lawsuit aimed at dismantling Proposition 22 — a ballot measure that provided job protections for gig workers while allowing them to retain the flexibility of being freelancers. But Prop 22 passed by more than 58 percent of the vote. In other words, Roesch’s ruling overturned the votes of almost 10 million Californians.

But a new report from the California Business and Industrial Alliance documents Roesch’s long history of making bad or biased decisions that are repeatedly tossed out by higher courts, including:

  • In 2009, Roesch sided with public-sector unions when he ruled to invalidate California’s furlough powers during a “fiscal crisis,” only to be overruled by both a California appeals court and the state’s supreme court. That same year, Roesch unsuccessfully tried to block the City of Oakland from using public safety funds to hire desperately needed police officers.
  • In 2012, a state appeals court found Roesch incorrectly tried to limit a man’s “constitutionally protected speech.” The next year, a California appeals court unanimously overruled a prior decision from Roesch, finding he not only “erred” on matters of fact but even misapplied a legal concept that’s commonly taught to first year law students.
  • In 2018, two separate decisions from Roesch were overturned due to his egregious biases in the cases.
  • In 2011, Roesch was reprimanded by a state commission after repeatedly denigrating and insulting a plaintiff, even proclaiming the plaintiff asked “an idiotic question.”
  • In October 2020, a state commission unanimously admonished Roesch due to his egregious biases in two cases he had presided over.
It’s no secret that California has become increasingly hostile to the entrepreneurs and business owners that drive our state’s economy. The recent decision to overturn Prop 22 is just the latest example of many. However, it shouldn’t come as a shock. Research into more than a decade of Roesch’s decision-making shows that he’s had several rulings thrown out and been reprimanded for bias. We only hope an appeals court sees through his bad decision once more.

CABIA also ran full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee last August criticizing Roesch for his ruling on Prop 22. CABIA has a track record of aggressive media campaigns to challenge the status quo in California, criticizing trial lawyers, politicians, and political appointees.