The Buzz: California inmates find ally in famed U.S. Supreme Court litigator

July 20, 2013 

6C20BUZZ

Paul Clement aids lawyers who fight state prison policies.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

California inmates have an ally in Paul Clement, a famed U.S. Supreme Court litigator and former U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush.

Clement was among the attorneys listed as counsel of record on the brief filed Friday to challenge the state's request that the high court put off deadlines for lowering its prison population.

The prisoners' attorneys illustrated the brief with photos of crowded facilities and asserted that state officials "are making the problem worse."

Working with the Berkeley-based Prison Law Office, Clement and the other prisoners' attorneys denounce what they call "open defiance of the federal judiciary."

Last week, aided by well-known litigator Carter Phillips, the Gov. Jerry Brown administration asked the court to stay an order calling for nearly 10,000 inmates to be released or moved to other facilities by Dec. 31.

The order stems from a 2011 decision upholding a determination that inmate numbers needed to be cut to 137.5 percent of the prisons' design capacity.

California's request for more time was made to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has the option of bringing the entire court in to rule on California's request.

– Michael Doyle

MONEY WATCH

The Bee's state lobbying database has been updated to include data on the Legislature's 2011-2012 session. While you might not be able to get details on the dollars being thrown at the current session, you can comb through a half-billion in lobbying money from last session to get a sense of where the funds are flowing. Find it at this link: sacb.ee/QRmDDH

– Jeremy B. White

WORTH REPEATING

"Apparently all of Washington thinks I'm the gay guy. … I consider myself a reformer who just happens to be gay."

CARL DeMAIO, the former San Diego City Council member and Republican who lost his mayoral bid last year to Bob Filner, talking to Politico for its "50 Politicos to Watch" list about his 2014 challenge to Democratic Rep. Scott Peters

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