A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of a lethal injection drug used in three botched executions last year, as two justices said for the first time that the death penalty is probably unconstitutional.
The 5-4 ruling rejected arguments that midazolam puts inmates at risk of a painful death. The decision gives greater latitude to death-penalty states as they cope with a drug shortage that has forced them to alter their lethal injection protocols….
The Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011…..
The Supreme Court on Monday approved the use of an independent commission to draw district lines in Arizona, steering clear of a ruling that could have created upheaval for 100 congressional races across the country.
Justice Anthony Kennedy served as the swing vote in the 5-4 decision, siding with the liberal justices in allowing Arizona and other states to use independent redistricting commissions in order to combat partisan gerrymandering….
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider letting states require evidence of citizenship when people register to vote for federal elections, rejecting an appeal from Arizona and Kansas.
The rebuff is a victory for the Obama administration and voting- and minority-rights groups that battled the two states in court. It leaves intact a decision by a U.S. agency that blocked the states from requiring proof of citizenship for voters in federal elections.
It’s the second high court defeat on the issue for Arizona. The state has a law that requires evidence of citizenship, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that it couldn’t be enforced when people use a standard registration document known as the “federal form” to register to vote for Congress and the president.
That 7-2 ruling left open the possibility that Arizona could impose its requirements through a different avenue. The court said the state could submit a request to the agency that developed the form, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, asking it to tell Arizona voters they needed to supply proof of citizenship….