Jerry Brown

Gov, Jerry Brown, pictured here last year, is fighting an order from federal judges to continue reducing California's prison population. (Nick Ut / AP / June 30, 2013)

Federal judges are trying to turn up the heat on Gov. Jerry Brown to get him to release inmates from California's crowded prisons.

But politically speaking, Brown is in the stronger position, says George Skelton in his Monday column.

"The judges are threatening to hold Brown in contempt of court if he refuses to free the felons," he writes. "Go ahead, to paraphrase a former Carmel mayor, make his day. Fine him.

Skelton adds, "That's one fine, I suspect, most California taxpayers would gladly pay for a governor trying to keep bad guys behind bars." 

The judges risk appearing unreasonable if they don't cut Brown some slack, Skelton says. They want him to reduce the inmate population by about 9,500 by the end of the year.

Browse the archive of Skelton's columns here.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian