The oral arguments had been reported to be unusually violent for this staid forum.
Justice Alito delivered the majority opinion, joined by Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas. Justices Scalia and Thomas issued a separate concurring opinion, not disagreeing with the reasoning, but responding to a dissent issued by Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, who expressed a renewed plea for the Court to take up the constitutionality of the death penalty. Justices Kagan and Sotomayor did not join in this plea, which led observers at SCOTUSblog to wonder whether they, like past liberal Justices, had grown less vehement in their opposition to the death penalty after spending some time on the Supreme bench. Instead, Kagan and Sotomayor issued a separate dissent addressing only the issues concerning Oklahoma's choice of consciousness-terminating drug.