Lawyers and judges are bristling at a quietly enacted law they say destroys the integrity of the State Bar Court by letting the governor and Legislature appoint a majority of the court’s five hearing judges.

They fear that the law, signed by Gov. Gray Davis on July 28, will politicize the lawyer discipline court by diluting the state Supreme Court’s influence. And they question whether Senate President Pro Tem John Burton sponsored the legislation as political payback for an acquaintance who was denied a license to practice law.

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