Supreme Court Watch


Big morning today at the Supreme Court, which ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional in cases of child rape "where the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in death of the victim." Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the 5-4 majority, which was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and David Souter. Justice Samuel Alito dissented, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas and by Chief Justice John Roberts. You can find the decision here.

For those of us eagerly awaiting the Court's decision in DC v. Heller, which looks at the constitutionality of Washington, DC's sweeping handgun ban, as well as whether the Second Amendment protects an individual or collective right to keep and bear arms, that ruling will be issued tomorrow. And it is looking very likely that Justice Scalia will be the author of a plurality, if not a majority decision, which suggests a big win for individual rights.