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Selling the Supreme Court

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Tom Verdin reports for AP, "A lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to halt the sale of 11 California office complexes, alleging the process illegally bypassed the state Judicial Council and amounts to an improper gift of public funds."

A particularly short-sighted way to deal with current budget problems while aggravating future budget problems is to sell an asset and then lease it back, trading a permanent expense for a one-time infusion of cash.  That is what the Governator wants to do with the California Supreme Court building in San Francisco, among others.

The lawsuit was filed against Schwarzenegger and the state Department of General Services on behalf of two people removed earlier this year from a Los Angeles building authority, Jerry Epstein and A. Redmond Doms. Schwarzenegger replaced them because they wanted the state to perform a cost-benefit analysis and questioned the long-term consequences for taxpayers.

There is a valid reason for selling the Cal. Supreme building.  That would be to sell the building in uber-expensive Frisco and buy more affordable quarters in relatively low-cost Sacramento, which is the state capital where the Supreme Court belongs.  But that isn't the plan.

Disclosure: Mr. Epstein is a member of CJLF's Board of Trustees.  However, CJLF is not involved in the suit.

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