The Justice Department, in a bold legal maneuver, on Monday afternoon asked the Supreme Court to rehear a major case on the death penalty, saying the basis of the decision had been “undermined.”
The motion is based primarily upon the fact that the Court, in striking down Louisiana’s law on the death sentence for child rape, did not take account of a federal law authorizing that penalty in the military justice system.
The new motion contended: “The Court’s decision and, in particular, its assessment of the ‘national consensus with respect to the death penalty for child rapists’, was not informed by those recent pronouncements [of Congress and the President].”
This is indeed a rather bold move by the Justice Deparment for reasons that are noted at SCOTUSblog.
Although I now oppose the death penalty in most cases, I do not believe that the Supreme Court should have much say so in the matter, and I was particularly unimpressed by the Court's opinion in the above-referenced child rape case, partially due to the error raised today by the Justice Deparment.