This was unexpected:
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court’s conservatives in a death penalty case on his first day on the court.
Handling his first case, Alito sided with five other justices Wednesday evening in refusing to allow Missouri to execute inmate Michael Taylor.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the an execution stay issued by an appeals court, but Alito sided with the majority in turning down Missouri’s last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.
Earlier in the day, Alito was sworn in for a second time in a White House ceremony, where he was lauded by President Bush as a man of “steady demeanor, careful judgment and complete integrity.”
He was also was given his assignment for handling emergency appeals: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. As a result, Missouri filed with Alito its request for the high court to void a stay and allow Taylor’s execution.
This will certainly be a surprise to those who thought he would be legalizing rape on his first day.