September 23, 2021

Supreme Court clears way for federal executions | TheHill

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The Supreme Court early Tuesday cleared the way for federal executions to be carried out for the first time since 2003, over objections from death row inmates to the Trump administration’s revised method for federal executions.

The conservative majority court in an unsigned opinion rejected claims that the lethal injection protocol that the Department of Justice adopted last year amounted to unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.

The executions had been scheduled for Monday afternoon, beginning with Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of murdering a family of three in 1996. But a federal judge in Washington blocked the killing just hours before it was to be carried out.

A federal appeals court in Washington hours later declined the Trump administration’s emergency request to reinstate the executions. Then just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, the Supreme Court permitted the executions to proceed under a new protocol using pentobarbital sodium.

The court’s five more conservative members — Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe Clarence Thomas’s wife criticized her town’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner: report MORE, Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump wins by losing in the Supreme Court MORE, Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchIn banning LGBTQ discrimination, did Supreme Court license sex discrimination? Roberts court tempers conservative expectations OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughRoberts court tempers conservative expectations OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe Five takeaways from Supreme Court’s rulings on Trump tax returns MORE — approved the new method.

The majority said vacating the lower court’s decision is warranted because the inmates are unlikely to succeed “on the merits of their Eighth Amendment claim,” which outlaws cruel and unusual punishment and “faces an exceedingly high bar.”

The court’s four more liberal members, Justices Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgSCOTUS has walked us out onto a slippery slope How Trump can get his mojo back OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe MORE, Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerHow Trump can get his mojo back OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe In rueful praise of Elena Kagan: The ‘Little Sisters’ ruling MORE, Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorPrinceton must finish what it started OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe In rueful praise of Elena Kagan: The ‘Little Sisters’ ruling MORE and Elena KaganElena KaganOVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for ‘correction’ to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in ‘Sharpiegate’ incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe In rueful praise of Elena Kagan: The ‘Little Sisters’ ruling Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Indian reservation MORE, dissented on various grounds.

“This sets a dangerous precedent. The Government is poised to carry out the first federal executions in nearly two decades,” Sotomayor wrote in a dissent joined by Ginsburg and Kagan.

“Yet because of the Court’s rush to dispose of this litigation in an emergency posture, there will be no meaningful judicial review of the grave, fact-heavy challenges respondents bring to the way in which the Government plans to execute them,” Sotomayor added.

A federal execution has not been carried out since 2003, due in part to a widespread shortage during the Obama administration of lethal injection drugs in the so-called three-drug cocktail.

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrWe haven’t seen how low it can go Trump lashes out at Toomey, Romney after Roger Stone clemency criticism GOP senator says Trump commuting Stone was a ‘mistake’ MORE announced last July that federal capital punishment would resume with the use of a single drug, pentobarbital sodium.

–This report was updated at 7:38 a.m.

This post originally appeared on and written by:
John Kruzel
The Hill

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