High court rejects challenge to Calif. prison plan

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected California’s challenge to a court order to reduce its prison population by more than 40,000 inmates over two years.

The justices said Tuesday they will not disturb the inmate-release order from a three-judge federal panel that said the reductions were necessary to improve medical and health care throughout the state’s 33 adult prisons.

At issue is whether the panel exceeded its authority in ordering the prison cuts.

Last week, the three judges accepted the Schwarzenegger administration’s latest plan for lowering the prison population, but put the matter on hold pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of California’s appeal.