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Episodes (86)

Episode 74 · 2 months ago

Death of a Supreme Court Giant

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, rocking the nation and setting the stage for a blistering Senate confirmation fight  should the Senate Judiciary Committee go through with the hearing process before the election. Today, our podcast hosts walk us through the history of SCOTUS vacancies, reflect on the legendary friendship between Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Antonin Scalia, and offer some rank punditry about what this SCOTUS vacancy means for the future of our republic. The question on everyone’s mind is: What happens next? Will Senate Republicans go through with the Supreme Court nomination process? Should they? Sarah and David have some thoughts. What’s clear is that Trump will fight tooth and nail to get a nominee through as a last ditch effort to energize his base. “The more the Democrats threaten him, his brand is that he cannot give in to threats,” explains Sarah. “It’s the ultimate ‘owns the libs’ move to fill the Ginsburg seat and enrage the left.” But who will president Trump nominate? Judge Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit  is in the running, but 7th Circuit judge Amy Coney Barrett’s cult of personality on the right—especially within the pro-life community—will likely give her the winning ticket. “If RBG is Michael Jordan,” Sarah explains, “ACB is Lebron James.” Stick around for a deep dive into the filibuster’s life expectancy, the possibility of a Democratic court packing scheme, and the likelihood of an Electoral College split this November.

Show Notes:

-David’s new book, Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation, Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s conversation with Justice Scalia about his friendship with RBG, and Sarah’s Sweep newsletter, “Yep, This Changes Everything,” and “Replacing Justice Ginsburg: Politics, Not Precedent” by Andrew McCarthy in National Review, the upcoming Dispatch Live with Sarah and David this Wednesday.

-David’s piece on the battle over Ginsburg's seat and don’t forget to take advantage of our 30 day free trial of The Dispatch.

Episode 73 · 2 months ago

The Owner's Manual of This Union

After reflecting on the best and worst parts of our country’s founding document for Constitution Day, David and Sarah dive into Attorney General Bill Barr’s Constitution Day address at Hillsdale College yesterday, in which he defended political judgment in bringing prosecutions and railed against federal prosecutors’ propensity to punish as much misconduct as possible. Our podcast hosts agree with Barr that there is an effort by federal prosecutors to expand federal criminal law to an unreasonable degree. But David reminds us that federal prosecutors are not just the instrument to be wielded by the attorney general, they are charged with carrying out laws that have been passed by Congress.  “Perhaps we have gone too far with civil service protections,” Sarah explains, “and that we are unable to remove anyone who is part of the permanent federal bureaucracy even for misconduct at this point really.”

Most of the news headlines referencing Barr’s speech highlighted his comparison between career federal prosecutors and preschoolers, as well as his rather distasteful comparison between coronavirus lockdowns and … slavery. “You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest,” Barr said yesterday in response to a question about the constitutionality of stay at home orders. “Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.” Sarah suggests a new legal truism on today’s episode: If you compare anything to slavery, you’ve already lost your argument.

Stick around for a deep dive into Lochner v. New York  its relation to coronavirus lockdown court order, as well as a discussion about whether Trump can win enough Electoral College votes without winning Florida. Sarah and David wrap up today’s episode with a reflection on their biggest career failures.

Show Notes:

-Bill Barr’s speech at Hillsdale College, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate, Yates v. United States, Lochner v. New York, Morrison v. Olson, and William S. Stickman IV’s Pennsylvania District Court decision, 30-day trial at The Dispatch.

Episode 72 · 2 months ago

Tell Somebody in Your Town

For the month of August, the Biden campaign outraised the Trump campaign by a whopping $150 million. (Biden raked in $360 million last month compared to Trump’s $210 million). As stark as this fundraising difference may be, is there any reason to believe it will be meaningful in the long run?A lot of this money will go toward television ads at this point, but campaign money starts diminishing in value once people start voting by mail. In other words … now. Not to mention that the fundraising difference doesn’t matter so long as each candidate meets a certain threshold. On today’s campaign update episode, our podcast hosts discuss these fundraising efforts while dissecting Trump’s surprising lead with Hispanic voters as well as the usefulness of yard signs, door knocking, and phone banking to a campaign’s overall success. Rather than waste time putting up yard signs or trying to persuade voters to vote with ideologically charged Facebook posts, Sarah argues that the most important—and statistically effective—thing you can do to boost voter turnout is text your closest friends and remind them to vote. As David points out, “It fits in with the sort of general reality that we have a large amount of influence over a small amount of people and a small amount of influence over a large number of people.” Stick around for a discussion about the newest additions to Trump’s Supreme Court list—also known as Sarah’s close friends list—as well as David’s latest Sunday French Press newsletter on the use and abuse of critical race theory.

Show Notes:

-Sign up for a 30 day trial at The Dispatch here!

-“The Sweep: Swing States and Voter Registration Trends” by Sarah Isgur and “Sorry campaign managers: Lawn signs are only 98.3 percent useless” by Philip Bump in the Washington Post, and three polls showing Trump winning Hispanic voters in Florida, The Emerging Democratic Majority by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira.

-“The Most Tremendous Reelection Campaign in American History Ever” by Olivia Nuzzi in New York Magazine, the newest additions to Trump’s Supreme Court list, David’s latest French Press, “On the Use and Abuse of Critical Race Theory in American Christianity,” the New York Times’ 1619 Project, and “A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future” in the Washington Post.

Episode 71 · 2 months ago

How to Commit Voter Fraud?

Last week, President Trump encouraged North Carolina voters to test their state's election security. David and Sarah discuss how, exactly, someone commits voter fraud, and what voters need to know as we close in on this November's election. But that's not all: Sarah gives us the latest on the state of the race and how the Trump campaign lost its cash advantage. Plus, David has some thoughts on Tenet.

Show Notes:

-The New York Times on “How Trump's Billion-Dollar Campaign Lost Its Cash Advantage

-Sign up for Sarah's newsletter The Sweep