Reporting from Washington — The Supreme Court today put off a decision on whether California must release more than 40,000 inmates to relieve overcrowding in its prisons.
Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had appealed a ruling of a three-judge panel last year that found prisoners were being denied adequate healthcare because of overcrowding. The judges then ordered the state to come up with a plan to reduce the prison population by more than 40,000 inmates. In his appeal, the governor said the judges had overstepped their authority under federal law.
But before the high court acted on that appeal, the state had filed a plan to comply with the judge's order.
Today, the justices dismissed the initial appeal from Schwarzenegger, but noted that the judge's order had been put on hold and would remain so "pending review by this court."