McGeorge School of Law

Wall Street Journal Features Kelso

July 25, 2008

Professor Clark Kelso's efforts to upgrade the prison health-care system in California were the subject of a lengthy article in The Wall Street Journal on July 21.

Kelso told the newspaper that he expects to file a motion in federal court in early August ordering the state to release as much as $2.5 billion in funds to begin construction of new prison hospitals. The state is under court order "to give California's inmate population constitutionally adequate health care."

State legislators, already confronting a budget shortfall of more than $15 billion this fiscal year, have balked at giving Kelso the funds, but Kelso has been granted a broad set of powers to trump their authority.

"Fiscally, the state is near bankrupt. So do I want to take this money and cause chaos and pandemonium? No," Kelso told the newspaper. "But I have a court order and I must move forward."

Kelso, who has built a reputation as the state's "Mr. Fix-It," continues to teach at McGeorge while working as court-appointed federal receiver for the prison system's hospitals. He is teaching Remedies and Issues in Government Lawyering this fall. In the spring semester, he will teach a Government Law, Theory & Practice Seminar.