Brown Stance on CA Prisons Likened to Southern Governors Of The 1950s


California Gov. Jerry Brown’s refusal to release 10,000 more prison inmates under court order has some experts saying he is provoking a constitutional crisis reminiscent of the civil rights era, reports NPR. “The legal arguments that the state is putting forward make no sense,” says Barry Krisberg of the University of California, Berkeley, law school. “And I don’t see what’s the logic in picking a fight now, particularly a fight you can’t win,” he says. Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at University of California, Irvine, says Brown’s stance reminds him of “the Southern governors of the 1950s declaring their defiance of federal court desegregation orders. Both were misguided efforts to undermine enforcement of the Constitution.” The next act in this legal drama will come soon. That’s when California has to submit its plan to shift those last 10,000 inmates out of the prison system – or find itself in contempt of court. Brown is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court, which already ruled against California once, will support him.

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