The Supreme Court of the United States has blocked plans by President Donald Trump to bring back the death penalty on a federal level.
The Friday ruling came days before a planned execution.
Justice Samuel Alito, in a statement endorsed by fellow conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, said the appeal court should be able to rule within 60 days.
“The government has shown that it is very likely to prevail when this question is ultimately decided,” Alito wrote.
The administration turned to the Supreme Court after the appeals court on Dec. 2 refused to immediately allow the executions to resume.
“The courts have made clear that the government cannot rush executions in order to evade judicial review of the legality and constitutionality of its new execution procedure,” said Shawn Nolan, a lawyer for death row inmates.
Attorney General William Barr had announced he was bringing back the death penalty in July.
He disclosed that the federal government planned to execute five people convicted of murder, including a white supremacist.
The last time the federal government executed someone was in 2003, one of only a small handful of such cases since the death penalty was reinstated at the federal level in 1988.
However, US states individually decide whether to use capital punishment in their criminal justice systems.