SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s chief justice says diminishing trust in institutions and polarization are challenging the rule of law. Tani Cantil-Sakauye emphasized the importance of maintaining the balance of power among the branches of government during her annual state of the judiciary address Monday. The California Supreme Court chief told a joint session of the Legislature that the judicial branch helps ensure equality and asked lawmakers to increase funding for California courts. The audience of mostly Democratic lawmakers burst into applause when she mentioned a letter she sent to members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet asking federal agents to stop making immigration arrests in courthouses. She told lawmakers she worried that such arrests erode public trust in the judicial branch and impede residents’ access to justice.