New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court’s conservatives Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.
Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri’s last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.
So that sound I heard last night was millions of Three Monkey Republicans gasping after being metaphorically punched in the stomach. Does this mean that Justice Alito has officially declared his Souterhood? No, not yet. But there’s no way conservatives can take it as a positive sign either.
I’m vaguely concerned by this myself, even though I’m opposed to the death penalty. (Don’t get sidetracked, everyone knows by now that I’m against it on the grounds of it being a terrible idea to give government a license to kill its citizens, based on the history of the 20th Century.)
But strike one has certainly been called. No doubt the abortionettes will be looking at each other this morning and thinking that perhaps Alito won’t be so bad after all.