Petty Politics Detailed In Former Chief Justice’s Book

Wow – think you understand just how petty California budget politics can get? You might decide you’ve been underestimating after reading a new book from former California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who retired from the bench in 2011. The way-way-former Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge has released an 800-page volume as part of the court’s oral history project and outlines just how personal funding could become.
The Los Angeles Times online is reporting that “… George said legislators sometimes opposed court bills out of anger at rulings. The state high court’s 2008 decision in favor of gay marriage caused Republicans to abandon a court bill they had previously supported.” He said other lawmakers would not support funding because of divorce bitterness and “… one legislator refused to support a revenue bond for court construction because his wife had received what he viewed as an excessive fine for making a rolling stop, George recalled. The bond depended on raising fines.”
For anyone hoping to understand the court-legislative relationship, the book is shaping up as a must-read. For the thousands of laid-off court workers, it is bound to illustrate just how little the judicial system, and indeed individual lives, can mean to some lawmakers. Read the L.A. Times piece by Maura Dolan here.