Today the Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution forbids capital punishment in all non-homicide crimes, excepting a couple specific “offenses against the State” like treason. The immediate case in question involves the horrifying story of an 8-year-old Louisiana girl viciously raped by her stepfather, who was subsequently convicted and sentenced under a recent (1995) statute which allowed prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the crime of aggravated rape of a child. That statute, along with all others like it, is deemed by the Court unconstitutional.
To get to this conclusion, Dear Leader Mr. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy begins with a rather striking paragraph:
The Eighth Amendment, applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, provides that "[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." The Amendment proscribes "all excessive punishments, as well as cruel and unusual punishments that may or may not be excessive." Atkins, 536 U. S., at 311, n. 7. The Court explained in Atkins, id., at 311, and Roper, supra, at 560, that the Eighth Amendment's protection against excessive or cruel and unusual punishments flows from the basic "precept of justice that punishment for [a] crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense." Weems v. United States, 217 U. S. 349, 367 (1910). Whether this requirement has been fulfilled is determined not by the standards that prevailed when the Eighth Amendment was adopted in 1791 but by the norms that "currently prevail." Atkins, supra, at 311. The Amendment "draw[s] its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society." Trop v. Dulles, 356 U. S. 86, 101 (1958) (plurality opinion). This is because "[t]he standard of extreme cruelty is not merely descriptive, but necessarily embodies a moral judgment. The standard itself remains the same, but its applicability must change as the basic mores of society change." Furman v. Georgia, 408 U. S. 238, 382 (1972) (Burger, C. J., dissenting).
Depending on your view of the Incorporation Doctrine, there are 5 or 6 usurpations of legislative authority in that one paragraph.
The opinion goes down here from there, as Redstate’s Dan McLaughlin demonstrates. Justice Kennedy should be impeached.