by Autumn Calla
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday refused to block [docket] a finding that a Texas county’s bail system discriminates against the poor. Officials of Harris County petitioned the court on Tuesday [AP report] for an emergency order to block the ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] which called for the release of inmates who were incarcerated for not being able to afford bail. District Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas [official website] ruled in April that inmates who signed affidavits swearing to their financial situations could be released from the county jail as the bail system was in violation of equal protection rights and due process safeguards against incarceration without proper procedure or affording those held the opportunity to be heard. The country jail began releasing inmates late Tuesday and will continue to do so. The county will continue its appeal of the ruling.