February 1, 2017
The Supreme Court today decided to hear on the merits a writ petition — Briggs v. Brown — challenging Prop. 66, the initiative passed in November to speed up California’s death penalty system. In December, the court stayed implementation of the law while it considered the writ petition and preliminary oppositions. That stay will now continue “pending the court’s decision in this matter.”
Because Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Ming Chin are recused, the Acting Chief Justice — Carol Corrigan — will appoint two pro tem justices to sit on the case. Today’s order does not say — and we can only speculate — who those two will be.
The court has set an expedited briefing schedule. Formal returns (oppositions to the writ petition) are due February 27, a reply to the returns must be filed by March 20, and the court’s order to show cause states, “The court does not anticipate granting any extensions of time regarding the due dates.”
[Update: The court has made all documents in the writ proceeding available online.]