Edward Schad's long-overdue execution is scheduled for tomorrow in Arizona. The US Supreme Court opinion affirming the judgment on direct appeal 22 years ago is here.
In addition to all the challenges to the court proceedings, the federal public defender filed an action attacking the executive clemency proceedings. The primary US Supreme Court precedent on such an attack is Ohio Adult Parole Authority v. Woodard (1998). This is a 4-4-1 split opinion, so we have to pick our way through two opinions to decide what has been decided and what is open. Judicial review of executive clemency, a core function of a coordinate branch of government, is allowed either (1) never, or (2) only under extreme circumstances, such as decision by flipping a coin or cases of bribery. Which of these alternatives is correct is unresolved, but the law is certainly no more favorable to the inmate than (2).
As is evident from the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Schad's case, nothing remotely close to alternative (2) is involved in this case.
So why were scarce resources, needed to perform the FPD's core functions, squandered on this patently meritless action?