The Supreme Court didn’t explain why it denied 10 of then-Governor Jerry Brown’s requests for clemency recommendations late last year, denials which, under the standard of review stated in an administrative order it issued earlier in the year, equated to accusing Brown of abusing his powers. The lack of reasons has been criticized (including, implicitly, by Justice Goodwin Liu) and has left some perplexed, including Brown.
Two prisoners whose sentence commutations the court blocked filed motions to provide a statement of reasons for the denials and to modify the administrative order to require stated reasons for all denials in general. (Here and here.) The relief was requested “[t]o improve the transparency and efficiency in the clemency process,” which would benefit “not only . . . the applicants, but also . . . the Governor, the public, and any individual or party supporting or opposing a commutation application.”
Last week the court’s clerk sent letters to the applicants stating, “The court will take no further action in response.”
[August 19 update: the motions are here and here. Also, I added one new link above.]