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Schwarzenegger's effort to release 40,000 prisoners put on hold by Supreme Court [Updated]

January 19, 2010 |  8:18 am

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's effort to release more than 40,000 prison inmates in California was placed on hold -- at least temporarily -- by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court left unclear today the status of a court order in California that calls for the release of the prisoners to relieve overcrowding.

The Republican governor wants to release the prisoners as part of an effort to reduce the state's nearly $20-billion budget deficit.

The justices said they did not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal filed by Schwarzenegger, but said the prisoner-release order had been put on hold "pending review by this court."

That suggests the justices may revisit the issue later. 

-- David G. Savage