Issue: (1) For purposes of federal habeas review, has the U.S. Supreme Court clearly established the rule that due process prohibits a state court judge from taking into account his own religious beliefs in sentencing a defendant? (2) Did the state court judge violate petitioners’ due process rights when the judge told petitioners, following their guilty plea to the robbery at a church, that they had stolen God’s money intended for the establishment of a religious kingdom on earth and then sentenced each of them to 53 to 71 years? (3) Did the sentences of petitioners, who were adolescents without any serious prior record and did not harm anyone in the robbery, violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment?
On Monday the Court issued orders from the April 24 Conference, which Lyle reported on. We expect one or more opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. We will be live-blogging beginning at 9:45.
This is the second week of the April sitting. On Tuesday the Court will hear oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is consolidated with three other cases, on the questions of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires that states grant and/or recognize same-sex marriages. We will be live-blogging updates from the oral argument beginning at 11 a.m.
Glossip v. Gross The constitutionality under the Eighth Amendment of using a sedative as the first drug in a death penalty protocol.