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The Judicial Council of California earned some harsh criticism earlier this week from state legislators during a hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

The Chief Justice of California, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, has said over the past several years that the state court system needs more money; indeed, state courthouses have been closed, and employees laid off, to save money. In spite of that, though, an independent audit of the judiciary's finances showed $30 million in questionable spending.

The California Supreme Court has unanimously sided with a group of investigative journalists over the Department of Public Health (DPH) in a dispute over public access to regulatory records.

In an investigation into abuse at state-owned and -operated treatment facilities for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, the Center for Investigative Reporting (the Center) requested from DPH copies of all citations issued to the seven largest state faculties. DPH responded to the request with 55 aggressively redacted citations, giving scant information about the actual violations.

DPH claimed that the redactions of private medical information were justified under the Lanterman Act. The Center, demanding more information under the Long Term Care Act, sued DPH for the unredacted citations.

Ah, the Boy Scouts. They teach you how to use knives, camp in the woods, and make things out of other things. The Boy Scouts have been under fire in recent years, though. Turns out they're a Christian organization that, until 2012, refused to admit openly gay Scouts, and still forbids employing openly gay Scout leaders.

That's enough to make them an organization that practices "invidious discrimination," according to the California Supreme Court, which decided Friday to prohibit state judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts, effective January 21, 2016.

2014's Top 10: Nothing Comes Close to the Golden Coast

FindLaw doesn't have Texas Case Law blog. We don't have a West Virginia Case Law blog. We have a California Case Law blog.

And we're sure glad we do, because if we didn't, there's no way our writers and readers would know that they might be able to change music and adjust the navigation on their smartphones while driving.

This may be a backwards, liberal, heathen-filled state (kidding, I swear), but it's our state, and we covered it well. Here are our 10 most popular posts from the past year -- a potpourri of traffic violations, (alleged) police and prosecutorial misconduct, and court staff throwing a fit over a dress code (seriously, San Francisco?):

Leondra Who? Leondra Kruger, that's who. Kruger was nominated by Governor Jerry Brown to fill the seat vacated by Justice Joyce Kennard, who retired in April. Kennard's seat has been vacant since then, requiring various justices of the courts of appeal to sit in on cases in order to fill the seventh seat.

Kruger's nomination is a "mind blower," reported the Los Angeles Times, because, at 38, she's barely old enough to hold the position. That's not to say she's not qualified: With papers chased from Harvard and Yale, and a former boss named John Paul Stevens, she's legal eagle enough to sit on the state's highest court.

Don't expect to get anything done in any of San Francisco's superior courts today: All the clerks are on strike. The clerks, members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, voted last month to authorize the strike, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The strike was prompted by pay raises -- or, rather, the lack thereof. Clerks received a 3 percent pay raise last year, but that's it. The union claims that the court has "refused to bargain over mandatory issues [...] withheld information from the union [...] and threatened the jobs of union members at the table," according to SF Weekly.

Yes, judges behave badly, too. But when they behave badly, it makes lawyers and courts look bad.

This week, the Commission on Judicial Performance issued a pair of sanctions to two different superior court judges who both engaged in some inappropriate conduct in camera.

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Stanford Law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to the California Supreme Court, reported the Los Angeles Times. In January, Cuéllar will fill the seat of Justice Marvin Baxter, who will not seek reelection in November. Cuéllar has all the right bona fides to sit on California's highest court: Harvard undergraduate, Yale Law School, plus a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford. He's taught at Stanford Law School since 2001.

Cuéllar, however, has something that's unusual for a California Supreme Court justice: no judicial experience at all. Six of the seven justices on the Court came straight from a position on a Court of Appeal. Governor Brown's most recent appointment, Goodwin Liu, is the exception. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Liu was a professor at Berkeley Law School and had done some work in private practice and for the U.S. Department of Education. He was the odd man out on a court composed of people who were judges already.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Nominees for Cal. Appeals Courts

There are a lot of new faces on the appeals court bench.

We've already noted that Gov. Brown will have two vacancies to fill on the California Supreme Court alone. Late last month, he also addressed a number of vacancies on the state's appeals bench, with six nominees.

All six are expected to be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission is headed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two other votes belong to Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and a senior presiding justice of the appellate court for which the candidate has been nominated, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Catching Up With the California Courts' Budget Crisis

The California Court system has been in crisis for quite some time. Years after years of budget cuts have shuttered courthouses, created hours-long lines, and delayed, if not outright denied, access to justice for many.

In January, Gov. Jerry Brown released a proposed budget that would have added $100 million in funding system-wide (most of which would've gone to pension obligations) -- a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated $1 billion in cuts over the last six years, or $544 million in cuts in 2012 alone. Later that month, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye released a report that outlined the carnage to the courts, noting that there is a $874.9 million budget shortfall and that an additional $260 million would be needed just to "tread water."

What's the current state of the courts? And is there help on the way?