on Jun 8, 2011 at 8:11 am
The Wall Street Journal reports that, in an effort to comply with the Courtâ€™s directive in Brown v. Plata to reduce prison overcrowding, California officials yesterday presented a plan â€œthat relies mostly on moving low-level offenders to county jails and building new prisons to accommodate serious criminals.â€ Â Â The Associated Press (via the Washington Post, with hat tips to Sentencing Law and Policy and Crime & Consequences) reports that â€œquestions abound on whether the [California] Legislature will sign off on tax extensions to pay for shifting thousands of convicts from state prisons to local jails, whether voters will approve the taxes, whether the state can meet the deadlines set by the high court and how the shift will play out at local jails around the state.â€ And the Los Angeles Times reports, â€œCalifornia is in danger of violating . . . a November deadline to lower its [inmate] head count by more than 10,000â€ if it cannot secure the funding to shift prisoners to local authorities; California officials, however, have yet to request a delay. NPRâ€™s Morning Edition notes an additional complication for the stateâ€™s plan to shift prisoners to county jails: many of those jails themselves are already overcrowded.Â The San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Redlands Daily Facts have additional coverage of the stateâ€™s plan. (Thanks to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for the latter two links.)
Meanwhile, across the country in Alexandria, Virginia, a federal district court judge ruled that last yearâ€™s Citizens United decision overrides the Courtâ€™s reasoning in a 2003 case, FEC v. Beaumont, which upheld a ban on direct corporate contributions to federal candidates. (The judgeâ€™s decision affirmed and narrowed his previous ruling in the case.) According to The Caucus blog of the New York Times, the ruling â€œset[s] into motion what could be a pivotal court battle over one of the biggest legal and political issues of the day,â€ and SCOTUSblogâ€™s Lyle Denniston reports that â€œthe issue is [already] headed toward the Supreme Court within a matter of months in one or more cases.â€ Further coverage of the decision is available in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journalâ€™s Washington Wire blog, Bloomberg, Politico, and Election Law Blog (also here).
- The editorial board of the New York Times criticizes Mondayâ€™s decision in Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Jr. v. Molecular Systems, Inc., arguing that the ruling â€œundermine[s] the [Bayh-Dole] actâ€™s purposeâ€ and â€œcould change the culture of research universities.â€
- The WSJ Law Blog discusses â€œconservative lawyer and blogger Ted Frank[â€™s] . . . invest[ment of] a little more than 10% of his net worth in options contracts that bet that Wal-Martâ€™s stock price will go up after a Supreme Court ruling in its favor in the [Wal-Mart v. Dukes] case.â€
- TIME and the Los Angeles Times cover the Courtâ€™s denial of certiorari on Monday in Martinez v. Board of Regents of the University of California, a case that challenged Californiaâ€™s policy of charging in-state university tuition rates to illegal immigrants who graduated from California high schools. The Court, without comment, left the California Supreme Courtâ€™s decision upholding the policy in place. The editorial boards of the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee weigh in, supporting the California Supreme Courtâ€™s underlying decision and the Courtâ€™s refusal to review the case.
- At Slate, Alexander Wohl notes the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of Mapp v. Ohio and argues that â€œconservative judicial activists, still busily trying to get it overturned, have entirely misunderstood that it represents constitutional fidelity and adherence to the rule of law at its best.â€
- At SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston highlights a recently filed petition in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which â€œraises what may be the hottest international law issue now affecting business firms.â€