Not just the Exercise Clause rights, but also the RFRA law rights. But I would bet dollars to donuts that Sotomayor will end up voting against the religious petitioners. She’s just keeping up appearances here by granting the stay — and remember, if she had refused to grant the stay, a majority of the Justices could have granted one anyway. No Justice wants to be humiliated that way, and I’m betting she only did this to avoid just such a humiliation.
Possible. But consider that Obama and co want no delays at all. Crualla just said so. Now here comes one of their hand picked SCJs countermanding their decree, even if only a moment.
For an admin that brooks no opposition, and a political cult that considers any racist treason, she’s gonna catch hell.
Here’s how it works. The Justice “on call” knows how many votes there are for the stay and enters it even if he/she does not plan to vote for it. She has low seniority, hence her having New Years Eve as her day and hence she being the one to grant the stay. It’s not that big a deal that she did it although I hope she has seen the light.