U.S. Supreme Court

Sotomayor temporarily halts order to move at-risk inmates from Ohio prison

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Sonia Sotomayor

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday temporarily stayed a judge’s order to begin moving 837 inmates from an Ohio prison who face greater risks if they contract COVID-19.

Sotomayor’s stay remains in effect until the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can rule in the case and until further order by herself or the U.S. Supreme Court. SCOTUSblog, Law360 and the Washington Post have coverage.

U.S. District Judge James Gwin had ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons to release or transfer the at-risk inmates from the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution, a dormitory-style prison. Inmates could be released using measures such as home confinement and furloughs.

The first group of 128 inmates was supposed to be moved on Friday, according to the Washington Post and SCOTUSblog.

The U.S. Supreme Court had refused to stay Gwin’s order on May 26, citing the case’s “procedural posture.” At that time, the government had sought a stay of an April 22 preliminary injunction by Gwin, but not his May 19 order enforcing the preliminary injunction.

The government responded by seeking a stay of both orders, and that is the request that Sotomayor granted.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “SCOTUS refuses to block order to move at-risk inmates at prison with high COVID-19 rate”

ABAJournal.com: “Sotomayor statement highlights ‘disturbing allegations’ in geriatric inmates’ COVID-19 suit”

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