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The Three Most Consequential Facts About Glossip

1.  Justice Kennedy joined Justice Alito's strong opinion for the Court and did not pen any kind of concurrence.  For those who thought (or hoped) Justice Kennedy was on the verge of disbanding capital punishment, this is hugely important.

2.  If either of President Obama's appointees were inclined to outlaw capital punishment per se, now was the time to go on record by signing on to at least some part of Justice Breyer's dissent (with Justice Ginsburg).  Neither did.  It would thus appear that there are seven solid votes against the abolitionist position, including the five youngest Justices.

3.  The abolitionist shake-and-jive of trying to dry up lethal injection drugs as a means to end the death penalty not only failed; it backfired.  The Court has caught on, and caught on explicitly.

In my view, today's decision was the most significant Supreme Court victory for the death penalty since Gregg was decided in 1976.

P.S.  Last week, conservatives were doing a good deal of grousing about Burwell and Obergefell, and generally about Republican Supreme Court appointments. CJLF takes no position on those two cases.  I personally, however, would like to thank President Reagan for Antonin Scalia and President George H. W. Bush for Clarence Thomas, both of whom shredded the Breyer dissent.  And a special thanks to President George W. Bush for Sam Alito, whose precision, perceptiveness and analytical rigor were on bold display this morning.

UPDATE:  The CBS Radio News at 1 pm EDT led off with the Glossip case, and within 15 seconds was playing a comment by Kent.


Significant victory for the CJLF and Kent. Major defeat for abolishionists. Legally-speaking, will (or should) it have any impact on (1) Jones v. Davis or (2) the California lethal injection suit?

I sort of viewed the case as a rehash of Baze, but you guys are the experts on this, so I'll defer to your characterization of the case. Breyer's dissent was really an op-ed and I guess when you are a federal judge with lifetime tenure you can spout your opinion on anything even if it is off topic.

For what it is worth, I think the court got it right on Glossip and Obergefell. As to Burwell, Scalia's theory on statutory interpretation is the only logical way to go about it. Words mean what they mean. Attempts to discern what Congress really meant is a fool's errand.

Obergefell may be "right" from a policy perspective, but the Court had no business saying that SSM is required by the 14A. It's raw power, not law in any real sense of the word.

As for Glossip, it's a huge win for justice in that the criminals in the hopper so to speak will soon meet the big jab. Unfortunately, the death penalty's days are numbered. The courts don't like it, and that is what counts.

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