The Supreme Court took up a racial segregation case Tuesday that asks if black California inmates are being unconstitutionally bunked together for months at a time, in the name of keeping prisons safe.
The Bush administration has sided with a black convicted killer who claims he has been humiliated by forced prison segregation. . . .
[A]t issue is an unwritten California policy, dating back more than 25 years, requiring officials to assign newly arrived black prisoners to bunk only with other black prisoners for two months or more. Inmates are separated again by race when they transfer to a new facility. . . .
[J]ustice Antonin Scalia said prison officials are smart not to put white and black tattooed gang members in the same cell until officials have had time to assess how dangerous they are. Prisoners lose many rights, Scalia said. "That's one of the consequences of committing a crime and being sent to prison."