California Governor Jerry Brown’s beloved bullet train project has had a rough go of it lately. As public support for it has plummeted, Brown has inadvertently antagonized the environmentalists in his base while it gets tossed around by the courts. The result is a confused mess of legal and financial challenges not exactly befitting a state supposedly with its house back in order.Here’s the gist: Brown surprised many last week when he decided to skip the appellate court process and petition the California Supreme Court directly to overturn a Sacramento Superior Court ruling that snatched $8.6 billion of voter-approved bond money from his grasp. The ruling claimed the state hadn’t complied with various promises made to voters when they approved the bond sales in 2008. More, the judge ordered the rail authority to explain how exactly it expects to fund its first 300 miles of work, projected to cost $31 billion.On Thursday the state Supreme Court transferred the appeal to the appellate court and ordered an expedited hearing. But the question still lingers: How exactly does the rail authority plan to cobble together a financing plan? An answer isn’t required just for political purposes—the state has only until April 1 to begin matching the $2.25 billion the Federal government has thrown at the project. If it can’t, the Feds could come up with the money by withholding other grants to California.With the bond money hanging in legal limbo, Brown started searching under the sofa cushions. In what he must have known would aggravate environmentalists, he proposed tapping the cap-and-trade fund. They’re skeptical that the money would be well spent, questioning the green credentials of the bullet train and the motives behind Brown’s single-minded efforts to keep his boondoggle going.This leaves California exactly where it has been for the past two years: unable to explain how it plans to fund an exorbitantly expensive project whose necessity and utility it can’t really justify. If the appellate court doesn’t put the train project out of its misery, the legal and political wrangling continues.