The Supreme Court dealt a temporary setback Friday to the Trump administration’s bid to revive the death penalty after a 17-year hiatus, refusing the government’s request to clear the way for four federal executions a lower court judge put on hold.
The high court did not disclose the vote count or its reasoning, as is typical of orders of this nature. However, the justices did instruct the lower courts to speedily process the dispute.
“We expect that the Court of Appeals will render its decision with appropriate dispatch,” Friday’s order reads. Justice Samuel Alito put a finer point on that directive in a statement accompanying the decision, which Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined.