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Opening Arguments

Housing crisis

Juxtaposition of the day. From a California case:

A majority of the Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed prepared to uphold a court order that California reduce the population of its overcrowded prisons by more than 40,000 inmates, despite dire warnings that "people are going to die on the streets of California" if the release is approved.

The state at one time incarcerated twice as many people as its adult prisons were built to hold. A special federal court panel found the conditions were unconstitutional and led to such poor medical treatment that one inmate died every eight days of ailments that could have been prevented or delayed.

Washington lawyer Carter G. Phillips, representing the state in Tuesday's arguments, acknowledged that the conditions at times violated the Constitution. But he said the court panel was "extraordinarily premature" in imposing the "unprecedented" order to move out of prison 36,000 to 45,000 inmates over the next two years.

And here in Indiana: