"The California Supreme Court is to the courts what U.C.L.A. is to basketball."
ANTHONY G. AMSTERDAM
Senate deliberations had caused the Justices to delay hearing the four death penalty cases until January; the several months' postponement turned out to be a critical break for the abolitionists.
The new turn of events began late one afternoon in early December 1971, when Jerome Falk received a call from G. E. Bishel, the clerk of the California Supreme Court. Bishel explained that in January the court was going to hear still another appeal in the case of Robert Page Anderson, the same man whose challenge to the California death penalty the court had rejected in 1968. Anderson had won a new penalty trial on Witherspoon grounds, but the trial court had resentenced him to death. Anderson's lawyer had died. The court, Bishel continued, intended to reconsider the cruel and unusual punishment issue and to schedule the case for argument at the earliest convenient date. Would Falk or Amsterdam be willing to represent Anderson, file a brief, and argue the case?
After he recovered his composure, Falk quickly told