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Another Stay from SCOTUS

The US Supreme Court has stayed the execution of Texas murderer Cleve Foster.  Again.  Order here.  Docket here.  Curiously, as the docket shows, this arises on a petition for rehearing following denial of a certiorari petition.  Such rehearing petitions are "Hail Mary passes" that are very rarely granted.

Melody McDonald has this story in the Fort Worth Star Telegram.


This is an affront to the victim's family and the State of Texas. The Supreme Court ought to be ashamed of itself, and, quite frankly, I think the Supreme Court has proven itself completely irresponsible.

And here's the reaction from one of the victims' family to the stay in the Cook case:


The Supreme Court ought to be thoroughly ashamed of itself. Perhaps in their rarefied air, the Justices don't understand what it's like to have a loved one murdered and then to be jerked around by federal court after federal court. This guy has had years to make all of his arguments. There's nothing new here. After this, I am more convinced than ever, federal courts should be without power to stay state executions.

Re: Foster - What's the time limit for a petition for rehearing? It's almost 90 days after the denial.

They got notice of cert. denied in the middle of January and waited until April 1 to file their notice of rehearing. The Court should absolutely not tolerate this. Texas had every right to set a date today, and equity should have dictated that the murderer's lawyer file his motion for rehearing far earlier than on April 1, which was on a Friday, no less.

Every single Justice who voted for this ridiculous and lawless stay (which of course, they don't explain in writing, though the case law requires other courts to do so) should be called to Congress to explain themselves.

Shawn, it's 25 days. See Rule 44.2. That is, I expect, why Foster filed a motion for leave to file a rehearing petition, rather than a rehearing petition. By granting his motion for leave, the Court has effectively waived the time limit in its own rules. It can do that unless the limit is jurisdictional, which this one is not.

That just makes this stay all the more lawless.

Thanks, Kent.

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