You may remember that Texas ignored clear Supreme Court precedent and upheld a death sentence for Marvin Wilson, a man with an I.Q. of 61. Well, yesterday the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay and Texas executed Wilson, and for all intents and purposes Atkins is a dead letter.
One reason I can never get upset about the “scandal” of Supreme Court leaks is that the institution should be more transparent, and this is an excellent example. The votes for the denial of a stay were not made public — but in a literal matter of life or death I have no idea why this should be the case. Is (my guess) Kennedy a complete fraud? Do one or both of Obama’s nominees think it’s acceptable for Texas to violate the Eight Amendment in open defiance of the Supreme Court’s binding precedent on the matter? I for one would like to know the answer to these questions.