Britain's High Court rejects prisoner votes bid

Britain's High Court has quashed a compensation bid by prisoners who say their rights were violated because they were not allowed to vote in last year's national election.

Some 585 inmates have launched claims, and lawyers say hundreds more could join them.

But Judge Brian Langstaff said Friday that it was up to Parliament, not the courts, to decide whether prisoners could vote.

While convicts can cast ballots in many European countries, in Britain they have been banned since 1870.

The U.K. government is facing a demand by the European Court of Human Rights that it allow convicts to vote.

Lawmakers voted last week to keep the ban, but their decision is nonbinding and Britain is obliged to honor the European court's ruling.