San Francisco-based attorney Michael Bien (JD ‘80), spoke to about 50 Northwestern Law students at NU’s Chicago campus Monday about the constitutionality of state prison overcrowding.
Bien, a managing partner of Rosen, Bien & Galvan, LLP, lectured about how he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Plata last year. In a 5-4 decision handed down May 23, 2011, the Court ruled in favor of Bien, ruling that overcrowding in some California prisons violated the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution unless courts placed population limits on the prisons. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the five-justice majority.
“This case arises from serious constitutional violations in California’s prison system,” Kennedy wrote in the opinion of the Court. “The violations have persisted for years. They remain with.”