This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Today the US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision (pdf), ordered California to carry out the plan a federal panel of judges had ordered back in 2009 designed to remove overcrowding in state prisons. To the surprise of no one, Judges Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts dissented.

Here is the last paragraph of the decision:

The medical and mental health care provided by California’s prisons falls below the standard of decency that inheres in the Eighth Amendment. This extensive and ongoing constitutional violation requires a remedy, and a remedy will not be achieved without a reduction in overcrowding. The relief ordered by the three-judge court is required by the Constitution and was authorized by Congress in the PLRA. The State shall implement the order without further delay.
The LA Times reports on some of the consequences:
California may have to release tens of thousands of inmates or take other unprecedented steps to ease overcrowding in its prisons, which have long been plagued by inadequate medical and mental health...

California's 33 adult prisons were designed to hold about 80,000 inmates and now have about 145,000. In 2009 the state was ordered to reduce the prison population by some 46,000 inmates to get down to what judges decided would be a reasonable level, the largest prisoner release order ever from a federal court...

One of the dissenting justices, Samuel Alito, disagreed by writing: "I fear that today's decision, like prior prisoner release orders, will lead to a grim roster of victims." ...

And who could have ever guessed that Justice Scalia would not be happy?  From the Times article again:
In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Supreme Court had upheld "what is perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation's history."
California's legislature, already hopeless on this issue and still needing to resolve a $10,000,000,000 deficit, is not likely to do anything sensible.  Will judges be ordering federal marshalls soon to escort prisoners out of state jails? Damned if I know, but it is about to get interesting.

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to jpmassar on Mon May 23, 2011 at 03:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, California politics, and SFKossacks.

Your Email has been sent.