Voting Battles Head to Court


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!)

Show Notes:

-Join The Dispatch for a post-election gathering featuring congressional leadership and top policy experts November 9-10: Sign up here!

-Marquette Law poll on voters’ optimism that their preferred candidate will win, Wednesday’s Morning Dispatch: “Election Litigationpalooza,” a statement on the Pennsylvania ballot deadline litigation from Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas.

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Episodes (86)

Episode 58 · 3 months ago

That Escalated Quickly

A federal judge ordered the release of Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen from prison on Thursday. On July 9, Cohen and his lawyer went into the U.S. Probation Office in Manhattan to transition from furlough to home confinement. But instead Cohen was arrested by three U.S. Marshals and brought back to prison. Why did this happen? David and Sarah explain.

Check out today’s episode to hear our podcasters discuss the presence of federal police in Portland, the defamation lawsuit against MSNBC host Joy Reid, and Trump’s latest executive order excluding illegal aliens from the 2020 census for apportionment purposes. David and Sarah wrap up the episode with a fiery debate over their favorite legal tv shows.

Show Notes:

-Check out Michael Cohen’s brief to the court and David’s latest French Press on the Crisis in Portland.

-Here’s Roslyn la Liberte’s defamation lawsuit against Joy Reid, a photo of the incident, and the Fox News article David mentioned: “MSNBC's Joy Reid walks back comments on conservative David French after bipartisan Twitter beatdown.”

-Trump’s executive order excluding undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census, Clarence Thomas dissent from denial in Cohen v City of Houston, Cohen v City of Houston, see footnote 19 and 20.

Episode 57 · 4 months ago

A Supreme Court Odyssey

The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term was quite the spectacle: the court canceled its March and April argument sessions, held oral arguments by telephone for the first time in May, and stretched its opinion announcements into July for the first time in many years. The term was packed with several blockbuster cases and ended with an announcement from Justice Ginsburg about a pancreatic cancer recurrence. And in the haze of it all, many Americans are still puzzled by some of the rulings. Our podcast hosts are here to help.

Has the conservative legal movement failed?  Will disputes over mail-in ballot counting turn November into a Bush vs. Gore 2.0? And the million-dollar question: What’s up with Chief Justice John Roberts? On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe to field some questions about recent cases and tie a bow on what became a rather unprecedented year for the justices. Tune in for an exclusive look into the origins of SCOTUS Blog and some punditry on the cases that are on the docket for next term.

Before founding SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe argued two cases before the Supreme Court and served as counsel for two dozen merit cases there. She has taught Supreme Court litigation at both Stanford Law and Harvard Law and served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law School and American University’s Washington College of Law.

Show Notes:

-Amy Howe and Lyell Denniston’s review of the term on the SCOTUStalk podcast.

-Travel ban case, census case, DACA case, Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Vance. Little Sisters of the Poor, Montana school case, CFPB case, robocall case, June Medical Services, Whole Woman's Health, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Guadalupe, McGirt v. Oklahoma, and Josh Hawley’s speech on the Bostock decision.

Episode 56 · 4 months ago

Journey to the Center of the Supreme Court

After a momentous term at the Supreme Court, what are we to make of it all? Josh Blackman, associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law Houston, joins David and Sarah to help us all understand:  Roberts' role at the center of the Court, Gorsuch and textualism, and Kagan's growing influence. David, Sarah, and Josh cover it all.

Show Notes:

-Make sure to read Sarah's piece on the Supreme Court term

Episode 55 · 4 months ago

Crimes, Plural

With Joe Biden’s popularity rising in battleground states (according to several recent polls), Democratic lobbyists and party officials are urging the presidential candidate to try and win over purple and even conservative-leaning states like Georgia and Texas. But most of his advisors are urging a more conservative path, encouraging him to focus on states he knows he can win. David and Sarah discuss these opposing strategies and offer their insights on what a winning 2020 presidential campaign should keep in mind.

In today’s episode, they also discuss the president’s pardoning power, theological and constitutional arguments related to the death penalty, and Trump’s tweet about re-examining the tax-exempt status of academic institutions that “are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education.” They wrap the podcast by responding to a listener’s question about what to include in an intro philosophy course.

Show Notes:

-New York Times piece on warring factions within Biden’s campaign, Fox News poll, University of Texas poll, Dallas Morning News poll, CBS/YouGov poll. 

-Death penalty opinion.

-Andrew Kent’s congressional testimony. 

-Ex Parte Garland case from 1866.

-Notes on Virginia ratifying convention from Brookings Institution.

-“The Traditional Interpretation of the Pardon Power Is Wrong” Atlantic article by Corey Brettschneider and Jeffrey K. Tulis.

-John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice.