SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge will consider whether California’s policy of locking up prisoners by race violates their constitutional rights.

U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley of Sacramento granted class-action status Wednesday to a lawsuit challenging the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s policy of locking all inmates of a particular race in their cells after a fight involving any member of that racial group.

READ MORE: 81 Pounds Of Meth, 11 Pounds Of Fentanyl Tablets Found After CHP Pulls Over Speeding Car

The suit was originally filed in 2008 by inmate Robert Mitchell after he and all other black inmates at High Desert State Prison in Susanville were locked in their cells following a fight.

Attorneys say no other state has a similar policy.

READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Pushes Full California Public School Reopening by Fall As Many Districts Resist

The legal challenge will now apply to all roughly 125,000 male inmates within the state prison system.

The department says it is reviewing the ruling.

MORE NEWS: Prosecutor: Kristin Smart Was Killed During 1996 Rape Attempt
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)