This week the US Supreme Court rejected California's challenge to a preliminary court order forcing the state to come up with a plan to reduce its prison population.
The preliminary order came after years of litigation, lack of response to court ordered improvements, and findings that conditions in California prisons which violate the Constitution stem from enormous overcrowding.
According to the Associated Press, the high court said it will not disturb the inmate-release order from a three-judge federal panel and will await the state's appeal of the final order.
The final order came down last week. Unlike the preliminary order, which mandated that the state make a plan on how to adequately reduce prison population, the final order mandates that the reduction in prison overcrowding actually happens.
The Schwarzenegger administration is planning to appeal the final order. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the state reluctantly submitted a plan to the three judge panel, but will continue to challenge the legal validity of the panel itself and the extent of its power to order changes in California prisons.