May 29, 2020
The Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Ohio houses 2,400 inmates, more than a third of whom are over the age of 65. The inmates live in very close quarters making social distancing impossible. The result? A severe COVID-19 outbreak lasting months. One in four inmates at the facility has been infected, and at least nine have died of the virus.
After the ACLU brought suit on behalf of the inmates, a federal district court ordered the government to remove the most vulnerable inmates from the prison through compassionate release, home confinement, parole or transfer to another facility.
The Trump Administration appealed, but the Court of Appeals rebuffed that effort, so it was on to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, that Court, similarly, refused to issue a stay.
Note that three justices — Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito — indicated that they would have granted the administration’s request for a stay.
I say it over and over again, mostly because it’s true: the single most important issue in any President election is Supreme Court nominations.