California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked federal judges Tuesday to stay their order demanding a state plan by Sept. 18 for reducing the prison population by 40,000 over two years, signaling his intent to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel already made clear in its Aug. 4 ruling (pdf) that it would not consider a stay and would view “with disfavor … any effort to postpone or delay an expeditious resolution of the terms of the population reduction plan.”

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