Imagining State's Next Court Move After Prison Order
Publication Date:August 14, 2009
Format:Op-Ed or News Article
Last week a federal three-judge panel issued a prison release order , ordering the governor to reduce the state prison population to 137.5 percentof its design capacity. This amounts to a reduction of 40,000 prisoners (approximately a quarter of its current population of 160,000). The state attorney general has said he will recommend that the governor appeal the order to the Supreme Court — §1253 of the federal Judiciary Act allows appeals of injunctions in cases involving three-judge panels to be appealed directly to the Supreme Court — but the governor has not yet said whether he will do so. As discussed below, the state has several options other than the right of appeal that it may wish to consider.