Alito Votes Against Lifting Stay:
From the Associated Press:
New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court's conservative Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.It's hard to say if this means anything. Alito may just be extra cautious on his second day on the job. The rest of the Justices know the history of this issue, and Alito doesn't yet; in a capital case such as thus, obviously the best course in light of possible uncertainty would be to vote to leave the stay in place. On the other hand, it's possible first evidence of my theory that Alito isn't going to be as conservative as most people think.
Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri's last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.