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Evening round-up: Coverage of Brown v. Plata

By a vote of five to four, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court affirmed the decision by a three-judge panel ordering California officials to release prisoners in that state to remedy the constitutional problems created by overcrowding.  There was extensive coverage of, and a variety of reactions to, the Court’s decision today in Brown v. Plata, which was argued in December; the case proved noteworthy not only because the Court affirmed the district court’s release order, but also because of Justice Kennedy’s use of photographs in his majority opinion and the strong criticism of the majority by the dissenting Justices – particularly Justice Scalia, who described the decision as “affirm[ing] what is perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history.”

We will have more coverage of the decision in tomorrow’s round-up, but early reports on the decision came from (among others) Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Bill Mears of CNN, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press (via MSNBC), Lyle Denniston of this blog, Joan Biskupic of USA Today, Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post,  ABC News, the WSJ Law Blog, and Reuters.

In the blogosphere, Kent Scheidegger and Bill Otis had several posts critical of the decision at Crime and Consequences, while the PolitiCal blog of the Los Angeles Times reports on reactions by various state officials in California – as well as the possibility that the ruling will “bolster efforts by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats to shift more prisoners into local jails.”  And at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick discusses the Court’s use of photographs, which she links it to the ongoing debate over televising proceedings at the Court itself:  she observes that there is “something strange about a court that is seemingly allergic to film and cameras covering its own work embracing photographic images to convince readers of a legal argument.”

Recommended Citation: Kali Borkoski, Evening round-up: Coverage of Brown v. Plata, SCOTUSblog (May. 23, 2011, 9:08 PM),