Episode 84 · 3 weeks ago
Voting Battles Head to Court
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
We’ve already seen record early turnout this election cycle. Our hosts have three major takeaways from the surge: 1) It means the polls are more likely to be accurate (the registered voter number is likely to reflect the actual voter number), 2) It means that we’re going to see interesting shift in how both candidates’ spend time on the campaign trail before Tuesday, 3) It means we have a record number of absentee ballots, which will lead to a concomitant surge in election litigation. In the hopper for the rest of today’s podcast: judicial oaths of office, turnout in swing states, and election litigation galore (with a close look at Wisconsin and Pennsylvania!)
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Episode 70 · 2 months ago
There’s a bit of post-2016 election PTSD among American political strategists, where any slight uptick in Trump’s polling numbers is perceived as an emergency situation for the Biden campaign. But despite the almost constant news cycle turbulence in American politics that would have caused big swings in a normal presidential election, the polls have remained relatively stable over the past few months. Biden remains in a clear and comfortable lead over Trump on practically every policy issue except for the economy. Why? According to Sarah, “It’s because of the referendum effect, and it’s because of the wild partisanship moment we’re in right now.” How stable are these divisions that have emerged? Hyper-partisanship isn’t going anywhere as we approach the presidential election, and as David reminds us in today’s episode, “these identities are cementing at the state level as well.” After going deep into the weeds on the latest presidential polls, our podcast hosts delve into the temperamental differences between city life and suburbia, the president’s memorandum on combating lawlessness in America’s cities, and a primer on time, place, and manner restrictions on the First Amendment.
Episode 69 · 2 months ago
Ever since its humble beginnings in March 2016, The Babylon Bee—a Christian, conservative version of The Onion—has been a godsend for Americans who have become worn out by news outlets that take themselves too seriously. From its theological inside jokes about the prosperity gospel to its and CNN, the Bee has made its mark in the world of satire. On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by the Babylon Bee’s editor-in-chief, Kyle Mann, who tells us about the challenges of satire writing in a cultural moment when it’s not always easy to determine fact from fiction. “There is an element where it’s not that our articles are too close to reality, it’s that reality is too close to satire,” Mann explains. “It’s what makes it so hard to write because you write something that you think is so goofy and over the top and then people believe it because reality is so crazy.” Listen to today’s episode for a conversation about C.S. Lewis’ best books, Kyle’s joke-writing process, and a tell-all about why Twitter’s decision to the Babylon Bee was ironically “the best thing that could happen” to the team. Today’s episode would be incomplete without its requisite dose of legal nerdery. Tune in to hear David and Sarah discuss the never-ending saga with Michael Flynn, the McGahn case, and Sarah Palin’s defamation case against the New York Times.
Episode 68 · 2 months ago
Violent riots escalated quicky in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. . On Wednesday, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree homicide for the shooting deaths of two people in Kenosha on Tuesday evening. Sarah and David break down what we know and don’t know about the Jacob Blake shooting on today’s episode of Advisory Opinions and talk through the legality of vigilante justice during times of unrest. “These really traumatic events are playing out in front of all of us,” David says on today’s episode. In one sense they’re playing out in a way that’s quite transparent because you can see the actual shootings on tape. “But there’s still a disturbing amount of fog around all of the incidents,” he adds. As Sarah explains, “We’re never talking about black and white cases but then everyone treats them like they’re black and white cases.” From a legal standpoint, law enforcement officials will have to fill in those gaps before they can render a clear legal judgment in all of these shootings. Sarah and David also take a walk down memory lane by revisiting Bush v. Gore, while also diving into the recent TikTok lawsuit and a fun conversation about our podcast hosts’ favorite parts of adulthood.
Episode 67 · 2 months ago
Today our hosts are joined by Phill Drobnick, head coach of the Olympic curling team, for some hot takes about the sport that inspired Sarah’s new campaign newsletter The Sweep. Listeners who are unfamiliar with this sport, which gets even passing national coverage only during Winter Olympics years, might be wondering about curling’s origins. “It started in Scotland, like every goofy sport that involves beer,” explains Drobnick on today’s episode. The sport then took off in Canada and then around the world. When people watch curling during the Olympics, they become armchair referees who don’t realize how much strategy is at play behind the scenes. How similar is curling to golf and hockey? Do sweepers make or break the game? Is there a culture of collegiality or trash talk in the professional curling universe? Coach Drobnick has got answers. Tune in to today’s show to hear Sarah and David also discuss the partisan skew in absentee voting, the increasing likelihood of another Bush v. Gore-style debacle over mail-in voting, and the RNC’s nonexistent platform moving into this week’s convention.