A federal three-judge panel today rejected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request for more time to submit a plan for reducing California’s prison population by 40,000 over two years.
“This court has been more than patient with the state and its officials,” Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Lawrence Karlton and Thelton Henderson wrote in rejecting the governor’s motion to extend the Sept. 18 deadline.
Be more than patient with us, and follow the jump ...
The judges noted that litigation in the two cases before them — one seeking relief from overcrowded prison conditions for mentally ill inmates, the other for inmates lacking medical care — goes back to 1995.
“Plaintiffs have been seeking relief from these deprivations for almost two decades, and, under the terms of our August 4, 2009 order, the state will have two more years to resolve crowded prison conditions once a final plan is ordered by this court, even aside from any delay resulting from a stay issued pending appeal on the merits and the final resolution of the matter by the Supreme Court,” the judges wrote. “No equitable purpose whatsoever could be served by further delays in formulating a plan.”
The decision wasn’t unexpected. In their Aug. 4 order, the judges themselves said that they wouldn’t look favorably upon any request for a delay.
In anticipation of the judges’ ruling, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today filed a notice to appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
— Cheryl Miller
Follow me on Twitter