The debate won't be about whether Controller John Chiang is making a sound legal argument that he can't legally or physically withhold state workers' pay during the budget impasse. Attorneys for the Department of Personnel Administration and the controller have filed plenty of paper on that issue, and Marlette is apparently ready to publish a decision today about that matter.
Instead, attorneys this morning will argue two points: If Chiang loses, should Marlette directly order the controller to comply with the law and Schwarzenegger's minimum wage order? And should four unions be allowed to join Chiang in the minimum-wage legal battle?
On July 9 the Department of Personnel Administration filed this brief, asking the court to force Chiang to comply with the minimum wage order.The rationale, according to the filing:
Chiang responded on Tuesday with this opposition brief, which refutes the claim that DPA is likely to win the minimum wage case on the merits and dissects what the controller says are significant legal holes in the governor minimum wage instructions.
Marlette will also hear arguments over whether four unions should be allowed to join Chiang in fighting minimum wage. Professional Engineers in California Government, California Association of Professional Scientists, SEIU Local 1000 and California Correctional Peace Officers' Association have asked the court for permission to enter the court fight. For more about this issue, click here.
IMAGE: Judge Patrick Marlette / Bee file photo 2009, Brian Baer