Supreme Court, in 5-4 Per Curiam, Denies Stay in Texas Execution Despite Request of SG

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4 Responses

  1. PrometheeFeu says:

    As much as I dislike capital punishment, I definitely see the Court’s point of view. Congress had plenty of time to enact a law to handle this issue. Its inaction is a clear demonstration of that it did not consider this issue to be a priority. It is a bit rich for them to introduce this legislation at the 11th hour and then complain that they don’t have enough time to pass it.

  2. Josh Blackman says:

    Breyer makes an interesting point in dissent–were the Court to grant such an extraordinary remedy, it would certainly (he hopes) prompt Congress to act, more so than this 11th hour effort.

  3. PrometheeFeu says:

    @Josh Blackman:
    I see that point. And ideally, I would prefer if that issue did not have to come up because there would not be a death penalty. But, is it really the Court’s job to prompt Congress to take action when the law as it is currently written is constitutional? I don’t think so. If Congress really wanted to prevent Leal’s execution, they could have done so, they just decided to deal with other things instead. I find this to be quite horrific honestly, but it seems to me the body should be laid at the feet of Congress for not acting, not the Supreme Court for failing to prod Congress into action.

  4. Joe says:

    I’m sympathetic to the sentiment of Comment #1 but still see some value in the SC pushing Congress to act in the way proposed here.

    Justice Stevens concurred in Medellin v. Texas but supported a stay when the litigant himself pointed to the chance of political action. When the President himself is behind the request, it has more force.

    The majority is reasonable but the dissent puts forth a reasonable alternative policy that probably is more ideal.