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Roundup: SCOTUS and the City, Fall Docket, Death Penalty Drugs

By William Peacock, Esq. on July 22, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

How many times have you stared at Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and thought to yourself, "I can't help but wonder ... isn't RBG just an older Carrier Bradshaw?" Of course you have not. But if you understand that reference at all, you'll love the newest Supreme Court parody making the rounds around the Internet.

If you don't, well, we have a list of interesting cases set for the fall. Also, even though we just talked about the death penalty on Friday, the courts are ridin' again, west sidin' again, with the Ninth Circuit staying an execution pending a challenge to a state's secret lethal injection drugs. It's an issue that we've seen crop up repeatedly, nationwide, over the last couple of years, and now, it's a circuit split.

It's also the second anti-death penalty ruling to come from the Ninth Circuit's territory (the other decision was from a district court in California) in less than a week, both of which could end up on the Supreme Court's docket.

SCOTUS and the City

It was a seemingly inevitable parody: one of the greatest television shows of all time (HBO's Sex and the City) meets the greatest court in the nation (the Supreme Court) to form SCOTUS and the City. (H/T to Above the Law.)

Eh, A for effort? And the casting is close to spot-on (Kagan is so Miranda, and RBG as Carrie? Perfect. But Sotomayor as Samantha? We respectfully dissent -- she's much more of a Charlotte.) Bonus points for mocking Ginsburg's sleepiness and the repeated calls for her to step aside. Also, she says "SCROTUS." Heh.Heh.

The Fall Docket

Looking forward to next term already? We can't blame you.

FindLaw's Brett Snider, writing for our Law & Daily Life Blog, previews the first ten cases on the Court's fall docket. Notable entries include Heien v. North Carolina, where a cop's reasonable mistake of law led to a Fourth Amendment dispute and Holt v. Hobbs, where a Muslim inmate is fighting his religious right to grow a half-inch beard.

Lethal Injection Drug Secrecy Split

This one seems destined for Supreme Court review. On Friday, the Ninth Circuit created a circuit split with the Eleventh Circuit over whether a state has to disclose detailed information on the drugs used in executions, including the source and manufacturer, as well as the credentials of the execution team.

The Ninth Circuit stayed an inmate's execution, holding that he had a plausible First Amendment right of access argument. The court denied en banc review on Monday afternoon, with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski penning a hilariously sarcastic dissental. The most entertaining part:

The eleven dissenting judges' substantive argument was that this is a novel interpretation of right of access, and even if the right reaches into the fine details of execution drugs and credentials, it is the right of the public at large, not just the inmate, and does not justify a stay of execution.

With the Eleventh Circuit and Georgia Supreme Court already holding that there is no right to know the fine details behind the drugs, there's a clear split waiting for Supreme Court clarification. Officials from Arizona have already indicated that a petition for certiorari is forthcoming, reports The Associated Press.

Is it possible that we'll see two death penalty cases on the Court's docket this fall?

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