In Friday’s Los Angeles Daily Journal (subscribers only), your correspondent had a story looking at the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Horne v. Flores. The story is part of a three-part series examining the practical impact of some of last term’s cases. It turns out that government lawyers are already citing Horne with some regularity in an effort to get out of long-running institutional reform cases.
Steven Schwartz, an attorney at the Northampton, Mass.-based Center for Public Representation, a public interest law firm noted that government attorneys have already cited the case in four of 12 institutional reform cases he handles. In California, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is hoping Horne will help end a number of class action cases concerning prison conditions.
“I think it could have profound consequences,” said David Schoenbrod, a professor at New York Law School. “At last, newly elected mayors and governments can look to find another way to comply with the diktats of federal law.”