The editorial illuminates the real issue regarding funding of California's judicial branch. Courts are not merely an afterthought; as you acknowledge in the final paragraph, state courts are a "coequal branch of the government."
In other words, they are just as important to our democratic system as the legislative and executive branches, yet the current administration implies they are seeking alms along with other worthy state beggars like schools and parks. Those are important, but they are not coequal.
Californians are going to be hurt by the continued pauperization of our judicial branch. Justice delayed is justice denied. Obviously, delay is going to become common in Los Angeles with the closure of many of our neighborhood courthouses.
As a retired lawyer, I am fully aware that the courts are underfunded and that justice is being delayed or denied every day.
That problem would be solved, and many others as well, if we accepted the fact that the war on drugs has been a disastrous failure and we ended it. Not only would our children be saved, but the courts would be relieved of the flood of unnecessary prosecutions.