In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court upheld “a procedure used by states to carry out executions by lethal injection” (including the type that led to several botched executions last year). Following a current trend among justices, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was especially forceful in her dissent: “Under the Court’s new rule, it would not matter whether the State intended to use midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake.”

+ In another 5-4 decision, the court ruled against the EPA’s power plant mercury limits.