Friday, November 20, 2020
Will Fr. James Martin, S.J., explain or withdraw his assertion that Justice Barrett voted "in defiance of Catholic pro-life teaching"?
Speaking of Twitter as an occasion or near occasion of sin, I see that I have not been the only one who has posted intemperately or injudiciously about the 6-3 order vacating the stay of execution for Orlando Hall. Fr. James Martin, S.J. singles out Justice Barrett's vote as made "in defiance of Catholic pro-life teaching." (See below.)
This is a grave charge. Will Fr. Martin explain his assertion or will he withdraw it?
What Catholic pro-life teaching forbade any of the Justices from vacating the district court's injunction? Did Fr. Martin even look into or try to understand the legal merits of the claim at issue?
According to SCOTUSBlog, the district court's injunction was based on the federal government not having a prescription for the lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital that it was to administer, which prescription is purportedly required by the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The federal government "argued that the prescription requirement in the FDCA does not apply to lethal-injection drugs. It also argued that Hall was not entitled to an injunction based solely on the lack of a prescription." Justice Barrett (along with Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, Justice Kavanaugh, and Justice Gorsuch) apparently agreed with the government and voted accordingly.