In the end, the battle between the Fourth Circuit and the DC Circuit is a battle over who gets to make law. The DC Circuit would steal this decision away from the American people's representatives, and place it in the hands of a few unelected officials in black robes.
Because of an oddity in the Supreme Court's death penalty cases, it is perfectly constitutional under existing precedents to execute people with very serious mental illness except in limited circumstances.
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The order will not itself prevent Mr. Wood from being executed using contaminated drugs or by an unqualified executioner. It will give his attorneys information that they need to challenge Arizona's execution procedures.
In striking down the state's death penalty system, Judge Cormac Carney relies on a line of Supreme Court precedents establishing that states cannot rely on an arbitrary process in order to determine which inmates will be executed.
Affirmative action opponents keep trying to kill off the University of Texas's admissions standards in court. The most surprising thing, given a conservative judiciary, is that they haven't succeeded.
This is a genuinely difficult case, although for reasons unrelated to whether Texas engaged in viewpoint discrimination by refusing to print license plates that display a symbol used by racist, slaveholding traitors.