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Government must operate smoothly

Shutting down the judicial branch of Alabama’s state government isn’t the way

to resolve funding issues.

But that’s just what court administrators say they must do, suspending all

civil jury trials from April 29 through September and scheduling criminal

jury trials in only two of the next five months.

The reason, court administrators say, is a lack of funds.

However, the judicial system received $18 million in funding from the general

fund this year; $4 million in a special set-aside, which was turned over in

February;

and $3.6 million in an emergency fund. That fund has only $1.7 million remaining, the governor won’t turn it loose.

"The judicial branch is a separate branch of government, and they need to

resolve this matter among themselves," Siegelman said Friday.

Maybe so, governor, but the state government needs to continue to operate

smoothly and effectively; shutting down the legal system, no matter how

cynical you may be about the system, isn’t living up to that expectation.

Now, we seem to have a judicial impasse, with both sides drawing lines in the

sand.

Once again, the taxpayers and voters in Alabama are left twisting in the wind and the standoff ensues.  

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