When four former governors asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to grant Gov. Jerry Brown's request to halt a court order requiring the state to reduce its prison population by nearly 10,000 prisoners, they did so in a "friend of the court" brief that officially put them on Brown's side.
But even allies have differences of opinion, and the former governors took a roundabout shot at Brown.
The administration has argued that a federal court failed to consider steps the state has taken to reduce overcrowding, including the diversion, through California's historic prison realignment, of thousands of offenders from prisons to county control.
Realignment was a major policy achievement for Brown, but a controversial one. The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which filed the brief on behalf of former Govs. George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, was sharply critical of the program.
It pointed in its brief to increasing crime in California's largest cities. The governors acknowledged the statistics don't prove realignment was the cause. However, the brief said, it is a "very substantial possibility," and it warned reducing the prison population further would "cause even greater increases in victimization."
A controversial Indian casino that lawmakers approved last month gets another airing today this time, before a judge. Opponents of a casino for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians have sued in Madera Superior Court, alleging that Gov. Jerry Brown did not have authority to grant the building of a casino with the tribe when he negotiated a compact with them last year.
"The grave and horrific allegations against Mayor Bob Filner are shocking and disgusting, and I extend my deep sympathies and concern to any victims. If these charges are true, Mayor Filner should resign immediately."
SEN. MARTY BLOCK, commenting on sexual harassment allegations lodged against Filner, a fellow San Diego Democrat