SACRAMENTO (AP) — Retired federal judge Lawrence K. Karlton, whose written legal opinions on topics ranging from mental health care for inmates to the environment stand as significant influences on key issues, has died in Northern California. He was 80.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Karlton died Saturday at his home in Sacramento from a heart valve problem he had dealt with for several years.

READ MORE: 23-Year-Old Charged With Molesting Woman in Santa Ana Store

Karlton retired from the federal court for the Eastern District of California at the end of September.

Probably his best-known case is a long-running and still ongoing battle to bring treatment of California’s mentally ill inmates into line with the Eighth Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual” punishment.

READ MORE: Riverside Adds 419 New COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths; San Bernardino Reports 253 Cases, 22 Deaths

Karlton left private practice in 1976 when then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the Sacramento Superior Court. He was nominated for the Eastern District bench by President Jimmy Carter and confirmed in 1979.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

MORE NEWS: Pasadena's Lucky Boy Burgers Sues Postmates Alleging Unfair Business Practices