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Court acts on prisoner release case

The Supreme Court refused on Friday evening to interfere with a federal court order requiring the state of California to draw up a plan for the mandatory release of up to 46,000 prison inmates to relieve overcrowding in state penal facilities.  In doing so, however, the Court indicated it would have an opportunity to examine any implementation of such a release before it actually occurs.

The Court order in Schwarzenegger, et al., v. Coleman, et al. (application 09A234), noted that the three-judge District Court had “indicated that its final order will not be implemented until this Court has had the opportunity to review the district court’s decree.”

The dispute is discussed in this post.  California state officials filed with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy their plea to delay the District Court’s ruling until after the Supreme Court could consider a soon-to-be-filed appeal by the state.  Kennedy referred the plea to the full Court, which denied it.  There were no dissents noted.