SCOTUS Refuses to Let Alabama Execute Willie Smith Without His Pastor Present (Without Noting Who Cast the Fifth Vote)
On Thursday, while most were focused on the impeachment drama on Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court denied Alabama’s request to vacate an injunction barring the execution of Willie Smith. While some justices noted their position in Dunn v. Smith, we do not know who formed the majority rejecting the request.
At issue was Smith’s request to have his pastor present at the execution. Alabama bars all clergy from the execution chamber, and Smith claimed this violated his religious liberty rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
Justice Kagan issued a brief opinion concurring in the denial, joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and (perhaps surpri
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