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Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, justice, and the courts

Slate Podcasts

News, Politics, News Commentary, Government

4.62.9K Ratings

Overview

A show about the law and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America. Want more Amicus? Join Slate Plus to unlock weekly member-exclusive episodes from Dahlia. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.

331 Episodes

How Originalism Ate The Law: The Trap

Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. In the second part of our series on Amicus and at Slate.com, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern are back on the originalism beat. This week they’re trying to understand the mechanisms of what Professor Saul Cornell calls “the originalism industrial complex” and how those mechanisms plug into the highest court in the land. They’re also asking how and why liberals failed to find an effective answer to originalism, even as the various “originalist” ways of deciding who’s history counts, what constitutional law counts, which people count, were supercharged by Trump’s SCOTUS picks. Madiba Dennie, author of The Originalism Trap, highlights how the Supreme Court turned to originalism to gut voting rights. In 2022, the US Supreme Court’s originalism binge ran roughshod over precedent and unleashed Dobbs and Bruen on the American people - Mark and Dahlia talk to a state Supreme Court justice about what it’s like trying to apply the law amid these constitutional earthquakes. In today’s Slate Plus bonus episode, Dahlia talks to AJ Jacobs about his year of living constitutionally, and she confesses to an attempt to smuggle contraband into One, First Street. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 May 2024

How Originalism Ate the Law: The Trick

Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. In this, the first part of a special series on Amicus and at Slate.com, we are lifting the lid on an old-timey sounding method of constitutional interpretation that has unleashed a revolution in our courts, and an assault on our rights. But originalism’s origins are much more recent than you suppose, and its effects much more widespread than the constitutional earthquakes of overturning settled precedent like Roe v Wade or supercharging gun rights as in Heller and Bruen. Originalism’s aftershocks are being felt throughout the courts, the law, politics and our lives, and we haven’t talked about it enough. On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern explore the history of originalism. They talk to Professor Jack Balkin about its religious valence, and Saul Cornell about originalism’s first major constitutional triumph in Heller. And they’ll tell you how originalism’s first big public outing fell flat, thanks in part to Senator Ted Kennedy’s ability to envision the future, as well as the past. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 May 2024

Democracy Dies at SCOTUS

Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. This past week (that lasted about a year) at the Supreme Court began badly and only went downhill from there. By Wednesday, justices were trying to set aside the facts of women being airlifted out of states where they can no longer access care to protect their major organs and reproductive future, if that emergency healthcare indicates an abortion - in favor of pondering the spending clause. On Thursday, the shocking reality of the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6th 2021, and former President Trump’s many schemes to overturn the election and stay in power, were relegated to lower-case concerns as opposed to ALL CAPS panic over hypothetical aggressive prosecutors. On this week’s Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by leading constitutional scholar and former assistant Professor Pam Karlan of Stanford Law School and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Slate’s senior legal writer Mark Joseph Stern also joins the conversation about the MAGA justices flying the flag in arguments in Trump v United States. In today’s bonus episode only for Slate Plus members, Jeremy Stahl gives Dahlia Lithwick a view from inside the courtroom of Donald Trump’s hush money trial. Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 27 April 2024

PREVIEW: Abortion Gaslighting is Back at SCOTUS

Listen to a preview of this urgent extra episode of Amicus. The full episode is available to our Slate Plus members. Listen to it now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Wednesday morning, the court heard arguments in Moyle v. United States, the consolidated case tackling what levels of care pregnant patients can be provided in emergency rooms in states with draconian anti-abortion laws. And on Thursday morning, the High Court will hear Trump v. United States, the case in which the former president - who is currently spending much of his time slouched at the defendant’s table in New York City - will claim a kind of vast sweeping theory of immunity that roughly translates as - “when you’re president, they let you do it. You can do anything”. In an extra episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern dig into what happened in the EMTALA arguments Wednesday morning and then look ahead to Thursday’s arguments in the immunity case. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2024

Twelve Jurors and One Angry Ex-President

Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. The first criminal trial of Donald Trump is finally here. This week, hundreds of possible jurors filed through Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom in lower Manhattan. The selection process was a preview of some of the challenges and pitfalls in the first ever criminal trial of a sitting or former President. On this week’s show, Slate’s senior legal writer Mark Joseph Stern sits down with Slate jurisprudence editor and Chief Law of Trump™ correspondent Jeremy Stahl to discuss what we learned this week, and what we can expect when the trial truly gets underway next week. In today’s bonus episode only for Slate Plus members, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern welcome Justice Clarence Thomas back from his long weekend, with a close listen to the January 6th case that was argued before the court on Tuesday. Fischer v United States is raising more alarm bells about the conservative justices’ posture toward armed insurrection. They also dig into Justice Elena Kagan’s opinion in a potentially tricky TitleVII case that, miraculously for this court, went pretty well in terms of civil rights protections in the workplace. Listen now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 April 2024

The Jurisprudence of Bleeding Out

Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC on May 14th here. We shouldn’t be surprised that we have to keep saying it, but here we are: the Supreme Court (notably trained as lawyers) will soon make decisions about how doctors (notably trained as doctors) can treat pregnant patients in the emergency room. Moyle v. United States - consolidated with Idaho v. United States - is the result of an Idaho lawsuit challenging EMTALA, a federal law requiring hospitals to do whatever they can to stabilize whoever comes through their ER doors with a medical emergency. Sometimes this requires abortion care, and for a faction of conservative advocates, this cannot stand. Ahead of oral arguments the week after next, we wanted to get a sense of what healthcare looks like for pregnant women experiencing medical emergencies now, and how this case threatens to undermine that care in the future. This week, Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Dr. Dara Kass, an emergency medicine physician, about what EMTALA was built to do, what ER physicians are being asked to do, and what will happen should Idaho prevail in this case. Later in the show, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern joins to discuss the hullabaloo over when, if, and how Justice Sotomayor should be made to retire and the very gendered work of keeping SCOTUS from going off the rails (any more than it already has). In today’s bonus episode only for Slate Plus members Dahlia and Mark discuss the outrageous ruling that creates (but really, revives) a de facto total ban on abortions in Arizona. They also explain why the EMTALA case from the show isn’t being talked about as much as the recent mifepristone case was. Listen to it now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 April 2024

When Gag Orders Become Campaign-Performance Indicators

After weeks of the Trump trials (and the run-up to the Trump trials) becoming ever more engrossing spectator sports, both the public and the media may have lost sight of some of the stakes. They also may have lost sight of the truth of what the legal system can actually deliver in terms of protecting democracy from Donald J Trump. On this week’s Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Juliette Kayyem to dissect Trump's impact on legal, national security, and ideological fronts. Kayyem brings her national security expertise to discuss the evolution of Trump's tactics from stochastic terror to direct incitement. Together, they explore the implications for democracy of a presidential campaign where one candidate issues violent threats and tries to intimidate judges. Kayyem lays out in stark terms the kinds of focus and planning needed in the coming months. Juliette Kayyem is a national security expert, Harvard lecturer, CNN analyst, Atlantic contributor, and author of 'The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters.' Avowedly not a lawyer, she approaches America’s political predicament using counter-terrorism approaches to Trump’s movement and preparations for the 2024 elections. Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly bonus episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 April 2024

When RAGA Rhymes with MAGA

It’s not quite red-yarn-on-a-corkboard, but given how often we’ve been thinking about the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) over the years, it may as well be. The group has become a vital component of the conservative legal movement, with pay-to-play access afforded to corporate donors to boot. Despite all the money changing hands and obvious conflicts of interest, few have heard of them - and that’s very intentional. This week we’re joined by Lisa Graves of True North Research to talk about how an organization representing the chief legal officers in half the states in the union has become a national policy juggernaut, pushing legislation and litigation to assist polluters, harm women and LGBTQ families, torment immigrants and even steal elections, all absent any significant oversight or consequences. In this week’s bonus plus segment, Slate’s very own Mark Joseph Stern joins to discuss coverage of the oral arguments in the mifepristone case (including the hugely significant takeaway most of the analysis missed), and the reasons Neil Gorsuch hates nationwide injunctions. And finally, following on from last week, thinking about the language we use to describe first trimester abortions. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 March 2024

How The Mifepristone Case Reached SCOTUS

Well, it happened again. The hIgHeSt CoUrT will hear arguments Tuesday in a case based on made up facts! This time it’s mifepristone, the abortion drug at the center of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v FDA. The claim was that the FDA approval process (three decades ago), for mifepristone, one of two medication abortion drugs, was haphazard and slapdash.. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine also argued that the FDA’s 2021 decision to allow telemedicine abortion and mailing of abortion pills violates a 19th-century anti-vice law called the Comstock Act. This week on the show Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Carrie N. Baker, Smith College professor and author of the forthcoming book Abortion Pills: US History and Politics. Baker says taking away the rights to access abortion pills in the mail could have catastrophic consequences for pregnant people, drug development, and privacy for all Americans. In this week’s subscribers-only segment, Slate’s Trump Law correspondent Jeremy Stahl gives us the updates on some of the cases against the former president - including the “a lot ton” of money he owes in New York, like starting on Monday. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 March 2024

Who Gets to Lie Online?

While all eyes and brains are on what SCOTUS thinks about making Trump emperor-king, a lesser known case will be heard Monday that could have a huge impact on how social media can (or cannot) keep election workers safe this year. Murthy v. Missouri arrives at the high court as the result a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, along with a group of social media users—including some doctors and right-wing commentators—who argued that officials in the Biden administration censored their online speech about COVID-19, the 2020 election, among other issues The plaintiffs don’t claim that the administration directly silenced their speech. Instead, they argue that, by working with social media companies to limit the spread of misinformation, the government unlawfully chilled the free expression of their ideas. Gowri Ramachandran serves as deputy director in the Brennan Center’s Democracy program.The amicus brief filed by her team from the Brennan Center in Murthy draws the Justices attention to another aspect of election disinformation . Ramachandran explains to host Dahlia Lithwick that combating election disinformation has always been important, but it is especially critical now, as election workers struggle to keep on top of voting issues. Later in the show for Slate plus subscribers, Mark Joseph Stern joins to talk about the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals taking a swing at teens’ access to contraception, and a new effort to combat the scourge of judge-shopping. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 March 2024

The Lies Destroying America

It’s not just the justices on the Supreme Court who can’t seem to agree with each other anymore. As we slide into Trump v. Biden 2 (The Second One), it seems like voters can’t seem to come to a consensus on just about anything either, including the facts they are arguing over. Author and superstar litigator Barbara McQuade argues in her new book Attack From Within: How Disinformation is Sabotaging America the information we consume is crucial to the health of our democracy. She speaks with Dahlia Lithwick about America’s problems with dis- and mis-information, and how we can solve them. In this week’s Amicus Plus members-only segment, Dahlia is joined by her co-pilot in the jurisprudence news cockpit, Mark Joseph Stern to talk about President Biden's SOTU SCOTUS FU, why Alabama's legislative quick fix for its theocratic state supreme court's IVF decision is unlikely to hold, and the meta story of the meta data in the liberal justices’ concurrence in Monday’s Supreme Court decision to restore former President Trump to the Colorado primary ballot. This segment is member-exclusive. Listen to it now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 March 2024

Yes, You Can Vote for an Insurrectionist

This episode is member-exclusive. Listen to it now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. ROTATING RED LIGHT!!! The Supreme Court ruled early Monday that alleged insurrectionist Donald Trump can remain on the Colorado republican primary ballot, and that no state may remove him, even if they want to. That’s Congress’ job. The 9-0 decision wasn’t unexpected, but the broad reasoning used by five of the court’s conservative justices certainly was, to the chagrin of the liberals and Amy Coney Barrett. In this special emergency episode, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate’s very own pocket justice league, Mark Joseph Stern and Jeremy Stahl, to discuss what this blockbuster result in Anderson says about the court’s consolidation of power and how it has helped Trump in so many ways. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

The IVF Decision We Should Have Seen Coming

It was a wild week at the High Court (another seven days crammed with a year’s worth of news). SCOTUS heard cases about bump stocks, and how Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would do as Facebook content moderators. The Supreme Court also finally found the time to put a thumb on the scale for serially indicted alleged insurrector-in-chief former President Donald J Trump. We’ll talk about all those things with Slate’s very own Mark Joseph Stern. But what we’re really focused on this week is the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent decision finding that frozen embryos are children, and the unshakeable sense that the coverage of this so far has had a slightly myopic quality, as though this case is purely about IVF, and carving out IVF, when in fact the entire movement for fetal personhood sweeps in many more people and rights than just those seeking assisted reproductive technology. We’re joined by a preeminent expert on matters of law, medicine, reproductive health, and biotechnologies, Dr. Michele Goodwin. Dr. Goodwin is the author of Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood. She explains (again) why we should have seen this decision coming from miles (and centuries) away. Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Later, in the Slate Plus segment, Mark returns to discuss this week’s SCOTUS arguments and the big news that legislative turtle and legal hellscape architect Mitch McConnell will be stepping down from his role as leader of Republicans in the Senate later this year. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 2 March 2024

A Series of Lawsuits That We Call an Election

Dahlia Lithwick is drinking from the firehose of legal news again and this week is joined by election law professor Rick Hasen to figure out why we’re all still hanging on for the Supreme Court to make a call in former President Donald J Trump’s sweeping claim to immunity from prosecution over the events of January 6th, how Americans could actually achieve a real right to vote, and why no-one’s paying attention to a pair of incredibly consequential social media cases being argued at SCOTUS next week. In our Slate Plus segment, Dahlia and Slate’s own Mark Joseph Stern discuss the bonkers but very very real implications of the Alabama Supreme Court decision to bestow personhood on embryos being used in fertility treatment, creating an impossible legal landscape for clinics and those struggling to become pregnant. Next, they sift through Justice Samuel Alito’s grievance debris in a recent dissent to find the deeply worrying signposts toward overturning equal marriage rights. Finally, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pleads with SCOTUS to clear up the mess it made of gun laws with its decision in Bruen. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 February 2024

Fani Willis and a Tale of Two Ethics Violations

The future of the Fulton County, Georgia election subversion case against Donald J. Trump and many many accused co-conspirators was cast into doubt this week as the court saw evidentiary hearings in the defence’s motion to disqualify Fulton County AG Fani Willis. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate’s chief Law of Trump correspondent Jeremy Stahl to discuss why, even with a very high bar for removing Willis from the case, the court was dragged through some tawdry details that are bound to come back to hurt the prosecution, one way or another. Later in the show, executive director and co-founder of Court Accountability, Alex Aronson, talks with Dahlia about what could possibly be done to make Supreme Court justices follow reasonable recusal guidelines (we’re looking at you, Justice Thomas), and whether the American electorate might at last be finding an appetite for court reform. In the Slate Plus segment, Jeremy returns to the podcast martini lounge to discuss what might be the first Trump case to reach a criminal trial. They also discuss the latest on Trump’s claim of blanket immunity. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. To catch up on the ever-breaking Trump trial news, check out https://slate.com/news-and-politics/jurisprudence Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 February 2024

Is SCOTUS Afraid of Holding Trump to Account?

Oral arguments at the Supreme Court Thursday in Trump v. Anderson revealed a lot about some of the justices’ commitment to the primacy of originalism. Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, joins Dahlia Lithwick to discuss why his organization took up and pursued the long shot case to try to keep former President Donald J Trump off the ballot in Colorado. While the Supreme Court appeared to have little appetite for taking the big swing to find that Trump had disqualified himself from office when he engaged in an insurrection, Noah insists the case is far from having been in vain - eloquently highlighting the dangerous potential consequences of inaction. It's a chilling reminder of what’s at stake. Next, Dahlia is joined by slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern to discuss whether the liberal justices have some grand bargain in mind as they offered multiple off-ramps for Trump’s side, despite dozens of bipartisan briefs arguing for Trump to be kept off the ballot, the court’s originalist’s sudden concern for consequences in this case, when they have had no interest in weighing the life and death consequences for ordinary people in cases concerning guns and abortion. Finally, they tackle a worrying undercurrent to Thursday’s arguments: an apparent capitulation to threats of chaos and violence as a basis for deciding constitutional cases. In our Slate Plus segment, Mark sticks around to discuss a landmark gun decision out of the Hawaii Supreme Court, and why it’s a problem that DOJ’s special counsel, Robert Hur, issued a report declining to prosecute, but affirming that Joe Biden is old (hint: the problem isn’t that he’s old). Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 10 February 2024

The Trump Trials Doomsday Clock Just Ticked a Second Closer to Midnight

Subscribe to Slate Plus to unlock the full version of this emergency episode. After weeks of waiting, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a decision in Donald J Trump’s appeal for sweeping immunity from prosecution for any of his actions while in office on grounds of a kind of post-presidential enduring presidenty-ness. The panel of three judges wrote: “We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a President has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power — the recognition and implementation of election results,” In this extra episode of Amicus, exclusive to our Slate Plus members, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern and Slate’s jurisprudence editor Jeremy Stahl to answer the huge questions this decision now sparks - will the Supreme Court step in? If so, when? Are there votes to stay the decision while the court mulls, or to expedite a hearing? All of this, of course, is set against the countdown to November 2024 and whether Donald Trump will be tried for alleged criminal acts to overturn the 2020 election before the American People go to the ballot box this time. To subscribe on Apple Podcasts, just click “Try Free” at the top of the Amicus show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen. As a Slate Plus member, not only will you unlock exclusive, subscriber-only Amicus content, but you’ll also get ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts—shows like Political Gabfest, Slow Burn, and What Next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 February 2024

The Neglected Constitutional History That Disqualifies Trump

There haven’t been that many insurrections in the United States, which means the case law ahead of next week’s arguments in Trump v. Anderson (the 14th Amendment, Section 3 disqualification case) is pretty thin. And so we, and presumably the justices, must rely on text and history to understand the intent of the drafters of the Reconstruction Amendments. Civil war and reconstruction historian Professor Manisha Sinha, signatory of one amicus brief and cited in another, explains that the history is crystal clear. Trump must be disqualified from the ballot. After weeks of discussing concerns about the strategic, political implications of this case, this week Dahlia Lithwick tackles the text and the history head-on, in a case that’s almost a natural experiment in applying originalism on its own terms. See also: Amicus Brief signed by 25 civil war and reconstruction historians (including Professor Sinha) Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address Sean Wilentz: The Case for Disqualification, New York Review of Books Jamelle Bouie: If It Walks Like an Insurrection and Talks Like an Insurrection... NY Times In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Slate’s judicial diviner Mark Joseph Stern joins to talk about a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on abortion that really took both text and history and human rights seriously. Also, an 8th circuit decision that could put a stake in the heart of what remains of the voting rights act. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 3 February 2024

Donald Trump and the Apex of MAGA Misogyny

Despite Donald Trump’s efforts, there will be a significant cost for his continued defamation of E. Jean Carroll (And it’s $83.3 million!!). For much of the proceedings he sat behind Carroll muttering under his breath and posting three-dozen times on Truth Social in one night about the unfairness of the judge and the court. But zoom out, and Trump’s actions at the trial and toward women generally have far bigger implications than the size of the check he’ll have to write. This week, Vanity Fair’s Molly Jong-Fast joins Dahlia Lithwick to explain how Trump has fanned the flames of GOP misogyny playing out in every aspect of our politics, from the GOP primary to the leadership in the House of Representatives to women who have been raped in states with no access to abortion. And she asks what it ultimately says about our justice system that 80-year-old E. Jean Carroll is the one prepared to take the stand against the man who assaulted her. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern discusses the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that kinda sorta resolved the battle between federal immigration authorities and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the horrifying turn the conservative turn has taken on capital punishment this week. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 27 January 2024

Greg Abbott and the Battle for the Texas Border

The immigration fight on the U.S. - Mexico border keeps getting uglier - not between the U.S. and its southern neighbor, Mexico, but between the federal government and a Texas administration apparently unconcerned by constitutional supremacy. Earlier this month, members of the Texas Military Forces took over a public park in Eagle Pass, TX at the behest of Gov. Greg Abbott. The park, on the banks of the Rio Grande, is near a frequently used border crossing. Last weekend, Texas forces blocked Federal Border Patrol agents from reaching a woman and two children who had drowned trying to cross the river into the United States. The move by Abbott is certainly shocking, but it’s an example of ways the state is trying to intervene in federal police powers and responsibilities. In a series of increasingly urgent filings, the Justice Department is pleading with the Supreme Court to intervene to let Federal agents enforce Federal laws. Rochelle Garza, president of the Texas Civil Rights Project, joins the show to discuss how the cruelty of Abbott’s approach is undermining Texas communities and creating a constitutional crisis that may originate in Texas, but will not remain there. Dahlia is joined by SCOTUS-whispering wingman Mark Joseph Stern in today’s Slate Plus segment to discuss why the High Court’s response to Texas’ game of chicken with the Feds is so dangerously sluggish. Next, they explore the oral arguments in the big Chevron-overturning vehicle that is Loper Bright, a case that was supposed to be about fishermen but is actually about overturning tens of thousands of agency law decisions and grabbing power from the elected branches and handing it to the judiciary. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 January 2024

The Supreme Court Gave Itself Huge Extra Powers and It’s Becoming a Big Problem

There’s an ever-growing queue of cases concerning Donald Trump headed for the Supreme Court that threaten to further dent the legitimacy of an institution that has tumbled in the public’s estimation in the last few years. This week’s show examines some of the interlocking issues raising the already sky-high stakes at One, First Street. First, Dahlia Lithwick kicks off the show with an update from Slate’s Law of Trump chief correspondent Jeremy Stahl about arguments in Trump’s immunity appeal at the DC Circuit Court this week. Next, we turn to a conversation with Professor Ben Johnson, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He recently wrote about the very long history of how the Supreme Court granted itself vast power to shape the law and policy by picking and choosing not only which cases it would hear, but also which questions it would answer when it hears those cases. Next week’s arguments in Loper Bright Enterprises v Raimundo are a case in point, and the question of questions also poses a conundrum for a court in a downward legitimacy spiral, as a parade of Trump cases head toward the High Court. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Jeremy Stahl to discuss the bread and circus of closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York, and the next phase of litigation involving the former President and E Jean Carroll that gets underway next week. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 January 2024

Deja Coup: Donald Trump and the Slow Civil War

On January 6, 2021, supporters of Donald J Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building hoping to stop Joe Biden from becoming president. Three years later, a quarter of Americans believe the FBI instigated the events of that day. This week on Amicus, we’re trying to understand the myth-making that helped foment the riot, and the religious fervor that binds and buoys Trump’s supporters today. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Undertow: Scenes From a Slow Civil War” to explore the stories and symbols that are shaping Trump’s march toward fascism, and to figure out what place the rule of law has in this struggle. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Slate’s dynamic legal duo of Mark Joseph Stern and Jeremy Stahl break down the latest in Trump’s cascading court cases, and the Texas abortion case that’s on a fast track to the Supreme Court. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 January 2024

The Very Worst of SCOTUS 2023

From the Chief Justice seeing the funny side of stalking and harassment, to Justice Samuel Alito’s tiny violin, to fighting in the footnotes and a bench dissent snapback, to THAT painting, it’s been quite a year at One, First Street. Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Stern are back with their bottom 10 picks for the Supreme Court’s worst moments of 2023. But don’t despair, there is a glimmer of hope, one part of the SCOTUS beat sucked less this past year… Stay tuned to hear Dahlia and Mark reveal what facet of the Supreme Court multiverse actually improved in 2023. Sign up for Slate Plus to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 December 2023

The Many Trials of Donald J. Trump

This week, the Colorado Supreme Court determined in a pivotal decision that Donald J Trump should not appear on the ballot in the state's Republican primary. Meanwhile the high court is already involved in the possible briefing of another Trump case (about presidential immunity) and has agreed to docket another involving the obstruction of the vote certification on Jan 6 2021. And we haven’t even mentioned the Georgia case. Basically, Trump is going to have a very lawyer-y 2024. So where do all these cases sit right now? Slate’s Jeremy Stahl joins Amicus host Dahlia Lithwick to give us an update. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern joins the show to talk about Rudy Giuliani’s defamation lawsuit and the $150 million he owes election workers. Mark and Dahlia also discuss the latest in ProPublica’s continued deep dive into the finances of Clarence Thomas. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 December 2023

Texas Abortion Laws’ Cruel Outcomes

Earlier this week, the Texas Supreme Court said Kate Cox couldn’t have an abortion.Cox’s doctors had diagnosed the fetus with Trisomy 18, an almost certainly fatal genetic condition. On top of that, there were concerns about whether or not Cox would be able to have children again in the future if she continued with this pregnancy. None of this was enough for nine judges in Texas to allow Cox to have an abortion. Cox’s story isn’t unique. Amanda Zurawski almost died after a Texas court said she couldn’t have an abortion. Today, she’s the lead plaintiff in Zurawski v. State of Texas. She joins Amicus this week to show the real, human effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Zurawski is joined by one of the lawyers representing her in the case, Jamie Levitt. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern talks about another made-up case that this time, won’t make it to SCOTUS. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 December 2023

Billionaires Had a Bad Week at the Supreme Court

When Moore v United States landed on the Supreme Court docket, it threatened to take a big swing at any future wealth tax and maybe cut the legs out from under the government’s ability to collect a lot of other tax. But as arguments unfolded Tuesday at One, First Street, it became clear that some of the Justices had studied up on the tax code and were cooling on blowing a big hole in it. To understand why Moore made it all the way up to SCOTUS in the first place, and why the facts don’t match claims from the plaintiffs, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by law professor and author of Big Dirty Money, Professor Jennifer Taub. Together they talk about the billions behind the case, the tax law, and the arguments inside the chamber. Next, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Mark Stern, who covered Moore for the magazine, to discuss Justice Alito's non-recusal from the case, his BFF David Rivkin Jr., and why the plaintiffs Mr and Mrs Moore bear a striking resemblance to some other, recent, fabled SCOTUS plaintiffs. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Mark Stern hangs on to talk about the Title VII case this week that didn’t go *that badly*, and why that’s still not good, and to explain why Justice Elena Kagan has had it up to here with false first principles. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 December 2023

Remembering Sandra Day O’Connor

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor died Friday at the age of 93. Amicus host Dahlia Lithwick is joined by former O’Connor clerk and renowned First Amendment scholar RonNell Andersen Jones to talk about the Justice’s trailblazing career, her judicial philosophy, and the combination of humility and strength that marked her time on the court, and away from it. Later in the show, Dahlia celebrates the joyous return of Mark Joseph Stern to share some big announcements AND to discuss SEC v Jarkesy. As Mark explains, the conservative justices seemed ready, willing, and able to take another swing at the administrative state (AKA functioning government). Mark Stern stays with us for this week’s Amicus Plus segment, taking us through some good ol’ vote suppressing stuff from MAGA-stacked lower courts choosing to ignore last term’s big voting rights decision in Allen v Milligan. Remember that time Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanagh saved voting rights? Turns out these lower courts are saying - not so much. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 2 December 2023

From "The Political Scene": Trump's Vindictive Second Term Agenda

While Amicus takes a break to digest turkey and count our blessings, we're sharing this episode of The Political Scene from our friends at The New Yorker. In recent weeks, Americans have begun to get a clearer picture of what a second Donald Trump Administration could look like. Some clues have come from organizations like the Heritage Foundation, which has laid out policy proposals for the Trump campaign. Others have come from the former President himself. Trump has said he would appoint a prosecutor to “go after” Joe Biden and his family; on Veterans Day, this past weekend, he pledged to root out opponents and critics who he said “live like vermin within the confines of our country.” “Trump wants to get rid of all of these guardrails that protect the government from becoming a spoil system,” the staff writer Jane Mayer says, including by firing members of the federal civil service. Ultimately, how different would a second Presidency be from the last time that Trump was in the White House? “There are two words that I would say really underscore the difference this time, and why Trump in 2024 is arguably a much bigger threat in many ways than he was even eight years ago,” the New Yorker staff writer Susan B. Glasser says. “The two words are ‘retribution’ and ‘termination.’ ” The staff writer Evan Osnos joins Mayer and Glasser to weigh in. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 November 2023

Is The Federalist Society Over?

Donald J Trump is signaling a split with the conservative legal movement’s kingmakers, The Federalist Society. Instead, the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee is planning a radical (and radically lawless) remaking of American government in his image. On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Amanda Hollis Brusky, professor of politics at Pomona College and author of Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society & the Conservative Counterrevolution, and coauthor of Separate But Faithful: The Christian Right’s Radical Struggle to Transform Law and Legal Culture. Together, they explore what the split between the right’s legal project of 40 years and the man who hopes to be the next Republican President means for the law, the rule of law, and the U.S. Supreme Court. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Jay Willis of Balls and Strikes to discuss the Supreme Court’s new ethics code. Spoiler: It’s not really new. As Jay says, think of it more like frat house rules published for the benefit of naive parents. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. https://books.supportingcast.fm/lady-justice Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 November 2023

Dunking On Trump's Lawyers Might Not Be The Win You Think It Is

If we are to take Donald J. Trump seriously (and at this stage it’s surely a fool’s errand not to), then the rule of law and democracy are on the line if (when) he becomes the Republican nominee for 2024. What role will the former President’s many many legal woes play in the coming months? A clearer picture is emerging after testimony for the prosecution wrapped in the civil fraud trial against Trump and his adult sons in their roles at the helm of the Trump Organization in New York City this past week. That picture is of a political candidate claiming to be the victim of an unprecedented legal witch hunt. In other words, as the trials proceed within the courts, a political trial is underway on the courtroom steps, at campaign stops, and in the media. On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Professor Eric Posner, of the University of Chicago Law School, author of The Demagogue's Playbook: The Battle for American Democracy from the Founders to Trump, to discuss political trials - their history and their risks. Next, Dahlia is joined by Madiba Dennie - attorney, columnist, professor, and deputy editor at Balls and Strikes - to recap oral arguments in United States v Rahimi, the big gun case considering whether adjudicated domestic abusers have a right to keep and bear arms. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, listeners will have access to an extended version of Dahlia’s interview with Madiba Dennie, analyzing whether election results are moving some of the justices away from the all you can eat originalism buffet. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 November 2023

The Right to Bear Arms and Terrorize Your Partner

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in one of the most significant—and potentially deadly—cases of the term - United States v Rahimi. The case, a follow on from New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, has the potential to weaponize the court’s Second Amendment extremism against victims of domestic abuse and protect adjudicated abusers. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by gun safety advocate Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, to find out the potential real life-and-death consequences of pursuing originalism literally back to when women were property and muskets were muzzle-loaded. They also discuss why the right is so keen to pursue gun rights through the courts, rather than through the democratic process. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Jay Willis, editor in chief of Balls and Strikes, to discuss oral arguments in a pair of cases concerning First Amendment concerns when politicians block dissenting voices on social media, the Trump-related trademark t-shirt dispute that is barely SFW, and Justice Clarence Thomas’s personal luxury RV loan forgiveness program. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 November 2023

Watching Trump Shrink in Court

On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate’s Jurisprudence Editor, Jeremy Stahl. Jeremy is also the lucky person tasked with helming Slate’s coverage of the many many criminal and civil trials of Donald J Trump and Amicus listeners can expect to hear a lot from Jeremy over the next year. After a week of big news across a number of the former President’s courtroom battles, Jeremy gives us a survey of the legal landscape and some vital pointers about what really matters, what’s nonsense, and what we should be watching and listening for in the coming weeks. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Jeremy Stahl sticks around to have a behind the scenes chat about how Slate’s jurisprudence team is tackling the thorny issue of reporting on the Trump trial - sorting wheat from chaff and stakes from horse race. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 28 October 2023

Donald Trump's John Gotti Moment

As MAGA Republicans engage in extremist arm wrestling in the House Speaker race, and the sins of the 2020 election subversion scheme catch up with Donald Trump’s closest allies, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by brand new MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Ian Bassin of Protect Democracy to take a look at the stakes of this moment for American democracy. An attempt to walk and chew gum at the same time, Protect Democracy’s work focuses on the incremental ways the law can be applied to protect election workers and inhibit disinformation, while also looking to the big constitutional and cultural questions we have to answer if we’re going to reject authoritarianism. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 21 October 2023

Justice Samuel Alito Got Out Of Bed on The Perry Mason Side

In this week’s big voting rights case, Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning whether to uphold a South Carolina congressional map that is avowedly partisan (everyone agrees it favors Republicans, but partisan gerrymanders are A-OK under SCOTUS precedent). What is disputed here is whether the mapmakers relied on race to reach their partisan aims. A three-judge panel in South Carolina found it to be a racial gerrymander, and threw out the map. In arguments on Wednesday, it became clear that the high court’s conservatives would rather toss out the evidence the lower court used to reach its decision, an unusual move for the highest court in the land, but perhaps the bed it’s made for itself after ruling partisan gerrymanders non justiciable in Rucho v. Common Cause in 2019. And so SCOTUS cos-played as a trial court for two hours on Wednesday. On this week’s Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Leah Aden, senior counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who argued the case on behalf of the South Carolina Conference of the NAACP, and Taiwan Scott - a South Carolina voter and individual plaintiff in the case, who says the electoral power of his Gullah Geechee community is suppressed by the gerrymander. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 14 October 2023

Senator Elizabeth Warren is Deeply Worried About SCOTUS

Following oral arguments in a case aimed at demolishing Senator Elizabeth Warren’s brainchild - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Senator Warren to talk about how far this Supreme Court is prepared to go to fulfill right wing deregulatory fantasies. Next, Dahlia talks to investigative reporter Andrea Bernstein, part of the team behind We Don’t Talk About Leonard, a new podcast collaboration between ProPublica and On the Media. Andrea explains the mechanisms developed by Leonard Leo that have reshaped the courts over the past two decades, drawing a line from Leo’s state-level judicial influence campaigns, to that Alaskan fishing trip involving Justice Samuel Alito, to this week’s arguments in the payday loan case CFPB v CFSA. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Andrea Bernstein sticks around to talk us through this week in court in New York City, in former President Donald Trump’s business fraud trial. Why did he choose to sit and glower and what did the limited gag order tell us about what the former President can rant about online and outside the court? Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 7 October 2023

A Monumental SCOTUS Term Begins: Our Reluctant Curtain-Raiser

Refusing to play the traditional first Monday in October game, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern squint through the cloud of ethics scandals enveloping the High Court to see a docket aimed squarely at unfettering commerce from outside supervision, with a side order of second amendment extremism. What could possibly go wrong? Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 September 2023

SCOTUS Is Not Done With Guns and Abortion

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Ryan Busse, a former gun-industry executive turned gun-safety advocate, who is now running for governor in his home state of Montana. As the right to bear arms for domestic abusers is set to be argued at SCOTUS this term, Dahlia and Ryan discuss how gun culture has been radicalized in order to… sell more guns. They also examine how that radicalization has reached the Supreme Court, and threatens our safety, and our democracy. Next, Dahlia is joined by Alison Block MD, a family doctor and abortion provider who is also executive producer and host of The Nocturnists podcast’s Post-Roe America season. The season lifts the voices of healthcare workers and abortion providers around the country, scrambling to survive in the confusing legal landscape created by Dobbs. The conversation highlights the impossible bind for red state abortion providers forced to choose between caring for patients and criminalization, and how providers in neighboring states are trying to keep up with unquenchable demand for care. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern to discuss why they never ever want to go to the all-male rich dude Lord of the Flies camp that is Bohemian Grove, why it’s pretty shocking that Justice Clarence Thomas did, and how the latest Propublica reporting shows the scheme in sharp relief: interest groups founded and funded by billionaires wanted to end the regulatory state, and they found a justice ready to change his mind and do just that. Dahlia and Mark also discuss why the abortion pill banning Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is all of a sudden so worried about misogyny. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is now out in paperback. It is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 September 2023

The Supreme Court We Deserve?

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by award-winning documentarian and lawyer Dawn Porter for a conversation about two projects shining a light on the law and how we can shape it: Porter’s new Showtime documentary series Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court, and the paperback release of Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America. Together they trace the political shifts and cultural earthquakes from the Warren Court to the Burger, Rehnquist and now Roberts Court, and they discuss how the courts current crisis of legitimacy cannot be cured with a moratorium on criticism. In both Lady Justice and Deadlocked a truth surfaces: when it comes to the rule of law, there is no “plan b”, so the challenge to Dawn’s audience, Dahlia’s readers and Amicus listeners is the same: to use the law as a tool for progress and justice. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is now out in paperback. It is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. https://books.supportingcast.fm/lady-justice Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 September 2023

Alabama Double-Dares SCOTUS Over Voting Maps

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Marc Elias, who has litigated more election and voting cases than almost anyone, to talk about Alabama’s disregard for SCOTUS’ decision in the big Voting Rights Act case of last term, and why the lawlessness is the point. They also delve into the dangers of tying the disqualification of former President Donald J Trump from office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the outcomes in his criminal trials. And why, when it comes to defending democracy, depending on the courts may make sense in the short term, but faces serious problems in the long term. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern to discuss Justice Samuel Alito’s chosen venue to publish a love letter to Senator Dick Durbin, Chief Justice John Roberts’ chosen venue to publish a love letter to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and why a major religious freedom case is looking more and more like a fake spike. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 September 2023

Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas

In Amicus’ summer series of conversations about books that expanded our thinking about justice and the courts, beyond the churn of headlines, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Judge Margaret M McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CIrcuit, to discuss her book Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas―Public Advocate and Conservation Champion Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 26 August 2023

The Family Roe

In Amicus’ summer series of conversations about books that expanded our thinking about justice and the courts, beyond the churn of headlines, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Joshua Prager to discuss his book The Family Roe: An American Story, about the unknown lives at the heart of Roe v Wade. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 12 August 2023

The Fear of Too Much Justice

In Amicus’ summer series of conversations about books that expanded our thinking about justice and the courts, beyond the churn of headlines, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by death penalty lawyer, professor and author Stephen Bright to discuss his new book, The Fear of Too Much Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Persistence of Inequality in the Criminal Courts. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 July 2023

Zero-Sum Justice

In the first of Amicus’ summer series of conversations about books and podcasts that have helped us look at the Supreme Court from a different angle, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Joel Anderson, host of Season 8 of Slate’s Slow Burn podcast: Becoming Justice Thomas. They talk about the experiences and people who helped shape Justice Thomas’ worldview and how deeply his jurisprudence is rooted in a kind of “cruel to be kind” ethos from his childhood. And why he was so blind to the challenges and suffering of so many Black women in his life. Next, Dahlia talks to Heather McGhee, Author The Sum of Us: WHAT RACISM COSTS EVERYONE AND HOW WE CAN PROSPER TOGETHER, about her books and podcast, and what they can teach us about a Supreme Court that is inclined to frame the world as zero-sum. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 July 2023

Supreme Arrogance

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of Supreme Court decisions. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. In our final Opinionpalooza episode of 2023, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern host the Amicus annual “breakfast table” round-up at the end of the Supreme Court term, and they’re joined by: Jamelle Bouie, former chief political correspondent at Slate and current New York Times Opinion columnist and political analyst for CBS News. Sherrilyn Ifill, former President and Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and newly appointed head of Howard University’s inaugural Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Esq. Endowed Chair in Civil Rights. Professor Stephen Vladeck, the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law, author of the New York Times bestselling book, "The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic." --- In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia and Mark loosen their ties, pour a snifter of brandy and hit the cigar bar of jurisprudence for a final discussion of the term that was; why progressives are still struggling to find an answer to the court’s torque to the right, and resisting the media’s urge to put a moderate bow on each extreme term. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 8 July 2023

MAGA SCOTUS Is Back

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of Supreme Court decisions. We consider this coverage so essential that we’re taking down the paywall for all of it. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. And sign up for the pop-up newsletter to see the latest every week in your inbox. As the Supreme Court’s June term wraps up with a slew of awful decisions, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate’s own Mark Joseph Stern to analyze 303 Creative LLC v Elenis, a case with startling implications for the dignity and equal treatment of LGBTQ couples and families. They also discuss the new reporting that shines light on the hall of mirrors that brought the case to court. Then, Dahlia and Mark are joined by Dalié Jiménez, Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and Director of the Student Loan Law Initiative at UCI Law to discuss the court’s decision to strike down the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program. Finally, Dahlia turns to Michaele Turnage Young of the NAACP LDF to take a closer look at Thursday’s affirmative action decision, which outlawed race-conscious admissions in most higher education contexts. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern to answer a listener question about something that has us all scratching our heads in the wake of Moore v Harper, and look ahead to some gun safety litigation that’s winding its way up to the High Court. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 1 July 2023

The End of Affirmative Action

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of Supreme Court decisions. We consider this coverage so essential that we’re taking down the paywall for all of it. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. And sign up for the pop-up newsletter to see the latest every week in your inbox. In an emergency episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate’s own Mark Joseph Stern to analyze SCOTUS’ decision to wipe out affirmative action in college admissions. They find Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion has some curious carve-outs that will keep lawyers busy, and college admissions tutors and applicants… baffled. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 June 2023

Moore v Harper Was a Win for Democracy, A Big Loss For Donald Trump

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of Supreme Court decisions. We consider this coverage so essential that we’re taking down the paywall for all of it. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. And sign up for the pop-up newsletter to see the latest every week in your inbox. In deciding against the bonkers (technical legal term) “Independent State Legislature Theory” in Moore v Harper, the Supreme Court chose not to take a wrecking ball to American democracy. Judge Michael Luttig, a counsel of record in the case, is relieved but not surprised. In this emergency episode of Amicus, Judge Luttig tells Dahlia Lithwick that Tuesday’s decision may have big repercussions at the Department of Justice, in Jack Smith’s investigation of former President Trump’s role in January 6th. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 27 June 2023

Supreme Court Politics One Year On From Dobbs

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of Supreme Court decisions, and the other legal happenings in June. We consider this coverage so essential that we’re taking down the paywall for all of it. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. And sign up for the pop-up newsletter to see the latest every week in your inbox. On this one year anniversary of Dobbs, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Anat Shenker Osorio to talk about how the political class still hasn’t found a way to communicate or act toward the court that delivered this suffering. Next, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s own Mark Joseph Stern to talk about two important decisions that came down this week, one concerning the rights of criminal defendants and another about the U.S. President’s right to set immigration policy. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia and Mark tackle more questions from the Slate Plus listener mail bag about the tension between establishment clause and equal protection claims in suits brought to fight back against Dobbs on religious grounds, and how to impeach terrible awful no-good judges. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 June 2023

Samuel Alito and The Billionaire

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of the final weeks of the Supreme Court’s term. We consider this coverage so essential that we’re taking down the paywall for all of it. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. And sign up for the pop-up newsletter to see the latest every week in your inbox. Amicus is coming at you again with an emergency episode. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Mark Joseph Stern to process ProPublica’s latest reporting on a growing theme of conservative supreme court justices with a penchant for luxury travel at the expense of billionaires (who also happen to be close friends with Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society). Dahlia and Mark also examine Justice Samuel Alito’s eye-popping pre-buttal of ProPublica’s piece about his Alaskan fishing trip with billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, which Justice Alito chose to publish in the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal. Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 21 June 2023

SCOTUS Wants To Drain The Swamp, Too

This episode is a part of Opinionpalooza. Slate’s coverage of Supreme Court decisions. We consider this coverage so essential that we’re taking down the paywall for all of it. If you would like to help us continue to cover the courts aggressively, please consider joining Slate Plus. And sign up for the pop-up newsletter to see the latest every week in your inbox. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by environmental appellate lawyer Sean Donahue to discuss the far-reaching consequences of one of the biggest decisions so far this term. In Sackett v EPA, the court decided that as many as 90 million acres of wetlands no longer qualify for environmental protection. Together, they trace the case’s history, its claims, and what tools are left for lawyers fighting to protect the environment. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern to answer listener questions, including how to counter dodgy originalism arguments, and whether there’s anything that could stop Donald Trump from running or even assuming office if he’s convicted of a crime Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 June 2023

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