Josh Blackman in his blog by the same name has an interesting take on a Supreme Court case decided today. Brown v. Plata effectively orders the release of 46,000 prisoners in the State of California to comply with court-ordered limits on the number of prisoners held in the state’s prisons.
Josh tries to reconcile the votes of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor in Brown v. Plata with their votes on McDonald v. Chicago. He ends up with this:
Let’s walk through this. The Court today orders 46,000 dangerous prisoners be released into society. Let’s assume this results in an increase in violent crimes, as Justice Alito suggests (I think his causation/correlation analysis is flawed, but let’s put that aside for now). Society becomes more danger, with all these violent criminals running amok. Prisons, unable to house new prisoners, decrease the feasible number of prosecutions. Statistics are generated that show a steep increase in crime. Based on these findings, the state enacts new restrictive gun control laws to reduce violence.
You really must wonder if something this Machiavellian went through the liberal Justices’ minds when deciding this case. If it did, we are in big trouble as a republic and the presidential election of 2012 becomes even more critical.