Posts Tagged ‘calfornia’

Jerry Brown Strikes Back Against California Prison Receivership

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Attorney General Jerry Brown today filed a motion filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California urging the court to exterminate with extreme prejudice the state’s pri$on receiver$hip.

Read all about it in the Motion to Terminate. Too difficult to get through? Well then, how about “Plush Hospitals for State’s Felons” from purported “gossip” columnists Matier and Ross instead?

In a nutshell:

“The Receiver’s $8 billion plan calls for adding 7 new prison health care facilities containing 10,000 new beds for prisoners — that’s 7 million square feet, or the size of 70 new Walmarts. The plan would also renovate space at each of the 33 existing state prisons. A draft of the plan also includes yoga rooms, horticultural therapy, extensive landscaping to obscure prison fences, music and art therapy, regulation basketball courts, quiet rooms, an emphasis on natural light and high ceilings, and a so-called “treatment mall.” A subsequent draft contains most of the same features without the graphic detail.”

On it goes…

Brown Calls on Court to Terminate Prison Receivership

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called on the federal district court to terminate an “unaccountable prison receivership” and its extravagant $8 billion prison construction plan because both violate federal law.

“The court should terminate this unaccountable prison receivership and its $8 billion construction plan, restoring a dose of fiscal reality to the provision of inmate medical care in California,” Attorney General Brown said. “The federal receivership has turned into its own autonomous government operating outside the normal checks and balances of state and federal law,” Brown added.

The Receiver’s $8 billion plan calls for adding 7 new prison health care facilities containing 10,000 new beds for prisoners — that’s 7 million square feet, or the size of 70 new Walmarts. The plan would also renovate space at each of the 33 existing state prisons.

A draft of the plan also includes yoga rooms, horticultural therapy, extensive landscaping to obscure prison fences, music and art therapy, regulation basketball courts, quiet rooms, an emphasis on natural light and high ceilings, and a so-called “treatment mall.” A subsequent draft contains most of the same features without the graphic detail.

The construction of new facilities, as well as the upgrading of existing facilities, is estimated to cost $8 billion. In addition, it will cost $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion per year to operate these facilities. The projected operations cost per inmate is $170,000 to $230,000 per year. This extravagant plan comes at a time when California is facing a fiscal catastrophe and funding for school children is being slashed.

The Termination Motion
In a motion filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the Attorney General urged the court to terminate the Receivership and his plan for the construction of prison healthcare facilities – because the Prison Litigation Reform Act prohibits judges from ordering the construction of state prison facilities and limits court-imposed remedies to the “least intrusive” possible.

In place of the $8 billion plan, the Attorney General called for returning the prison health care system to the State and the appointment of an interim Special Master to conduct hearings and make proposed findings of fact.

Background
California is under Federal court order to provide health care that is not “deliberately indifferent” to the health needs of prisoners. The State of California is committed to providing such care.

The State – under the receivership – has taken significant steps to improve inmate health care. California has increased health care staffing and filled almost 90 percent of open physician positions, improved emergency response, professional standards, contracting systems, and health care screenings.

In total, California has increased per inmate health care spending from $7,601 per year in 2005-2006 to $13,778 in 2007-2008. By comparison, spending per inmate in federal prisons will be $4,413 per inmate in 2008-2009. The average cost of health care coverage for a single person in California in 2008 was $4,906.

Nevertheless, the Receiver continues to insist on a massive program that would lead to the construction of facilities and amenities that go well-beyond standards required by the Constitution and federal law. The Prison Litigation Reform Act, signed into law in 1996, forbids judges from ordering construction of state prison facilities, and requires that any plan that a court orders be “narrowly drawn, extend “no further than necessary” to correct the violation of the Federal right, and be the “least intrusive means necessary.” (18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A))

On August 25, 2008, the Receiver filed a motion to hold the Governor and other State officials in contempt for failing to turn over to the Receiver $8 billion for his construction plans, and the district court ordered the state to make a down-payment of $250 million by November 5.

Subsequently, Brown appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit, which stayed the district court order. The Ninth Circuit will hear oral argument in the case on February 12, 2009.

Attorney General Jerry Brown Urges CA Supreme Court to Invalidate Prop 8

Friday, December 19th, 2008

That poor Proposition 8 just doesn’t seem to be getting too much respect these days. To wit:

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called upon the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because it deprives people of the right to marry—an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution.

Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,” Attorney General Brown said.

In this case, Attorney General Brown concludes that existing case-law precedents of the Court do not invalidate Proposition 8 either as a revision or as a violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine. But this does not resolve the matter.

In the In re Marriages Cases, the Court held that article I, section 1 of the California Constitution provides a right to marry that cannot be denied to same-sex couples. Attorney General Brown argues that in order invalidate such a fundamental right, the Court must determine that there is a compelling justification to do so. But in the In re Marriage Cases, the court found that no such compelling justification exists. Accordingly, Proposition 8 must be stricken.

Attorney General Brown believes that same-sex marriages entered into between June 16 and November 4, 2008 are valid and recognized in California regardless of whether Proposition 8 is upheld.

Well O.K. then.

via “Thomas Hawk’s” Photostream

And Jerry saw fit to file an 111-page Answer Brief as well today. Enjoy.

ROBIN TYLER et al.,

Petitioners,

v.

MARK B. HORTON, as State Registrar of Vital Statistics etc. et al.,

Respondents;

DENNIS HOLLINGSWORTH et al.,

Interveners.

S1688066

On it goes…

 

Nancy Pelosi Workshop Helps Turn Your Green Card into Citizenship

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Just like last year, and the year before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is sponsoring a United States Citizen Workshop to help those who have green cards become U.S. Citizens.

So, if you’ve had your green card for a few years and want to become a citizen, you should RSVP at (888) 841-8801, gather up your materials, and then go to UC Hastings College of Law at 198 McAllister this Saturday, September 20th, 2008. When you call Nancy’s office, they will tell you about the documents you need to bring in so they can help you get all set to submit the tricky N-400 form to the government. 

There’ll be experts on hand this Saturday, like attorney Joren Lyons of the Asian Law Caucus, who can answer questions and put you on the right path to citizenship.

See you there!

On Saturday, September 20, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will host a citizenship workshop in San Francisco to provide free assistance to residents who are eligible to become American citizens.   
 
For most immigrants, becoming a United States’ citizen is the culmination of many years of hard work.  Yet many permanent residents who are eligible to apply for citizenship fail to do so because they do not know they are eligible, do not know where to begin the process, or cannot afford to hire someone to assist them with the complicated form.
 
 
Speaker Pelosi’s Citizenship Workshop will take place on Saturday, September 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at UC Hastings, 198 McAllister Street, in San Francisco.
 
 

Allegation of Electronic Ballot Box Stuffing in Leno, Migden, Nation Senate Poll

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The Marin Independent Journal is trying to do the best it can in this Internet Age. That means putting content online and maybe allowing for a reader poll on some topic of the day.

Last week, IJ editor/writer Brad Breithaupt wrote a piece about the sprawling 3rd Senate District involving “incumbent Senator Carole Migden and her two challengers, Assemblyman Mark Leno and former [A]ssemblyman Joe Nation.”

Readers were allowed to cast their vote for whomever they favored until someone at the IJ cancelled it. Why? Check it:

Due to suspected ballot-box stuffing, results of the poll will not appear. You dirty rascals!”

Thusly:

image005.jpg

Appears is if more than one person repeatedly voted for a particular candidate and, so much so, the results got all screwy. Apparently, “cookies” were involved.

Now, who would do such a thing? (If only Marin County had its own Matier and Ross to get to the bottom of this!)

Can’t we all get along?