Medellin Opinions on the Stay Application:
For Supreme Court geeks, yesterday's opinions denying the application for a stay of execution in the Medellin case are fascinating. A brief per curiam opinion (presumably authored by Justice Scalia as the Circuit Justice) denies the stay, and four Justices authored individual dissents. Of particular interest, Justice Souter addresses the question of how long a Justice should adhere to his own dissent: In his view, sticking to his guns through at least through the end of the Term is reasonable. In addition, Justice Breyer takes the unusual step of criticizing the majority for turning down his efforts to get a courtesy fifth vote for a stay. (I don't think his criticism has much force, as the courtesy fifth vote is generally given when four Justices are voting to grant cert and need a 5th for a stay -- not when four Justice want a stay but aren't ready to grant cert -- but so it goes.) Anyway, this is probably too geeky for all but the most serious Supreme Court geeks, but I thought I would flag the opinions anyway.