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California’s courts are under siege. Courthouses are falling apart and judicial pay is no longer competitive with private practice. Given the state’s budget woes, there’s little relief in sight. Unless, of course, the recall election brings an especially creative new mind to the governor’s mansion. With the election less than a month away, we think it’s time to start contemplating some of the ways a new governor could re-invent the court system. We’ll also take a guess at who some of his or her key legal players might be. Arnold Schwarzenegger: The governator could raise money for the courts by auctioning off their old, decrepit facilities to film companies that need to blow up buildings in action movies. Eliminate the cost of operating the death chamber at San Quentin — instead, condemned inmates get killed in Schwarzenegger flicks, for real. Appointments secretary: Linda Hamilton Chief Justice: Jack Valenti CRUZ BUSTAMANTE: With a little help from Bustamante’s friends, judges could expect gleaming new, multi-purpose courthouses in no time. Imagine the lure of the Earl Warren Courthouse and Sycuan Band Casino. With enough Bustamante appointees, the Supreme Court would likely overrule People v. St. Martin (1970), 1 Cal.3d 524. (“Our courts are not gambling halls but forums for the discovery of truth.”) Appointments secretary: (To be chosen by roulette wheel) Chief Justice: William Bennett ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: All judges would be required to drive hybrid electric vehicles. Would have litmus test for judicial appointees: Must have changed views on major issues 180 degrees during last five years. Appointments secretary: Woody Harrelson Chief Justice: Cryogenically restored Rose Bird PETER CAMEJO: To save trees, the Green Party candidate would immediately move to 100 percent electronic courts. Any attorney filing a paper brief would be subject to summary disbarment. Appointments secretary: Julia “Butterfly” Hill (all interviews conducted in redwood trees) Chief Justice: Matt Gonzalez LARRY FLYNT: Would reduce overcrowded prisons by immediately pardoning all pornographers. Courthouses’ Lady Justice statues would be made anatomically correct. Supreme Court building renamed John C. Holmes Courthouse. Appointments secretary: Jenna Jameson Chief Justice: Stephen Reinhardt TOM McCLINTOCK: With the elimination of California’s income, sales and property taxes, filing fees would be raised to $250,000 per case. A 50 percent across-the-board reduction in judicial salaries would have judges pining for the good old days when salaries remained flat for most of a decade. Appointments secretary: Rush Limbaugh Chief Justice: Janice Rogers Brown GRAY DAVIS: Would demand that judicial appointees reflect his personal philosophy or else resign. Would overrule parole grants for 99 percent of murderers, regardless of merits of their cases. Would create more judicial seats on First District Court of Appeal, which doesn’t need any. Oh wait, this is supposed to be satire. Appointments secretary: Prison union chief Don Novey Chief Justice: Burt Pines Scott Graham is editor-in-chief of The Recorder. Associate editor Greg Mitchell contributed to this article.

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