California's civil war of the judges apparently will continue, even though a rebel organization scored a major victory this year.
A "trailer bill" to the 2012-13 state budget incorporated many provisions of legislation that the breakaway Alliance of California Judges had sought over the opposition of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in a quest for more local control of court funds.
However, with the Brown administration apparently seeking further cuts in state support of the courts, the alliance has elected one of its most combative members, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White, as its president.
It also declared in a letter to its members this week that it will independently lobby the Legislature on budget and other matters, saying that management by Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts, both of which are controlled by Cantil-Sakauye, "clearly has been a failure."
The Alliance has accused the San Francisco-based court bureaucracy of wasting money on a failed computer system and on itself, while local courts are starved for funds and have been forced to curtail operations. It's also been critical of a multi-billion-dollar courthouse construction program.
In October, White reiterated those criticisms in a letter to the chief justice and sought an advisory seat on the Judicial Council for an Alliance representative, similar to one held by the California Judges Association. She didn't promise such a seat but said she is "open to expanding representation."