Writes Justice Scalia, dissenting today in Brown v. Plata:
... My general concerns associated with judges’ running social institutions are magnified when they run prison systems, and doubly magnified when they force prison officials to release convicted criminals....The majority opinion in this 5-4 case is written by Justice Kennedy:
This case arises from serious constitutional violations in California’s prison system. The violations have persisted for years. They remain uncorrected....The central dispute was about the requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA), which was designed to reduce the role of federal courts in supervising state prisons.
After years of litigation, it became apparent that a remedy for the constitutional violations would not be effective absent a reduction in the prison system population....