In April, Chief Judge Lee H. Rosenthal decided in their favor, writing that it was unconstitutional to jail people because they can’t afford bail. Rosenthal ruled that Harris County would have to ask defendants about their financial backgrounds and release them if they didn’t have enough money to pay their bonds. The county challenged the decision, and the case now sits with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, known as one of the most conservative courts in the country. In light of this setback, the plaintiffs and their lawyers have been searching for allies to support their case. They now have a powerful group on their side: religious leaders that say they have a duty to fight for the poor.