About Strict Scrutiny
Strict Scrutiny is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it. Hosted by three badass constitutional law professors-- Leah Litman, Kate Shaw, and Melissa Murray-- Strict Scrutiny provides in-depth, accessible, and irreverent analysis of the Supreme Court and its cases, culture, and personalities. Each week, Leah, Kate, and Melissa break down the latest headlines and biggest legal questions facing our country, emphasizing what it all means for our daily lives. Whether you’re a lawyer or law student, or you’re just here for the messy legal drama, Strict Scrutiny has you covered. New episodes out every Monday… plus bonuses whenever SCOTUS takes away another one of our rights.
Melissa, Leah, and Kate preview three Supreme Court cases up for argument this week. The cases focus on water rights on Indian reservations, the constitutionality of a federal law that prohibits people from encouraging unlawful immigration, and Jack Daniels (yes, the alcohol company) suing a dog toy company over a poop-related joke. Plus, a new venture from Leonard Leo provides some insight into what conservatives think liberals sit around doing all day. Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events. For a transcript of this episode, go to crooked.com/strictscrutiny
First things first: WE WON AN AMBIE! Leah, Kate, and Melissa gather to raise a glass and celebrate this huge honor. Then, Kate and Melissa talk with Joanna Schwartz about her new book, Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable. Plus, a quick overview of what we expect from the Supreme Court before it ends its term in late June. Order Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable at Bookshop.org. Use code STRICT10 at checkout to get 10% off your order! Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
What’s going to happen to the federal student debt relief plan? Melissa, Leah and Kate give listeners some answers as they break down last week’s Supreme Court oral arguments on the cases blocking 20 million borrowers from seeing between $10,000 and $20,000 of forgiveness on their federal student loans. They also discuss how those arguments could affect a pending federal court ruling that could force the FDA to reverse its approval of mifepristone, a drug used in medication abortion. Listen to last week’s episode previewing the student debt relief cases Listen to this episode on the federal court case regarding the FDA approval of mifepristone. Follow Strict Scrutiny on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Crooked Media on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers, and other community events.
Leah and Kate recap the arguments in the big Internet cases the Supreme Court heard last week. Plus, they look ahead to the upcoming arguments in the student debt cancellation cases-- and to an election in Wisconsin that you should all be watching. Follow Strict Scrutiny on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Crooked Media on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers, and other community events.
Danielle Citron, author of The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age, joins Leah and Melissa to preview two Supreme Court cases that ask whether online platforms should be held liable for user-uploaded content. Plus, more drip-drip-drip from the investigation of the Dobbs leak. Read The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age (use promo code STRICT10 for 10% off!) Read The Onion's incredible amicus brief
Leah and Kate talk to Jessica Valenti, writer of the Substack newsletter “Abortion, Every Day,” which documents the rapidly changing landscape of abortion rights in the U.S. after Dobbs. Plus, they highlight a federal court opinion that would allow people facing domestic violence orders to possess guns, and President Biden’s (brief) State of the Union comment about vetoing any national abortion ban legislation. Listen to "How SCOTUS gutted our gun laws," about the Supreme Court's recent ruling that the constitutional right to carry a gun extends beyond the home Listen to "What the Fight After Roe Actually Looks Like," which recapped the first two months of a post-Dobbs world Listen to "Roe is dead. Now what?," which captured our immediate reaction to the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
Melissa and Kate talk with Sasha Issenberg, journalist and political science professor at UCLA, about his book The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. Issenberg offers a glimmer of hope about the lasting legality of same-sex marriage, even in light of Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion in Dobbs. But he warns about the dangerous exemptions that could be carved out through 303 Creative, which the Supreme Court has yet to issue an opinion on, but foreshadowed in its Hobby Lobby opinion. Buy your own copy of The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage (use STRICT10 for 10% off!) Read an excerpt of The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage Listen to our episode recapping arguments in 303 Creative v. Elenis
Melissa interviews Dahlia Lithwick about her best-selling book Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America. They discuss overlooked women who shaped the legal system, complicity in judicial culture, the problem with clerkships, and what it means to actually participate in rebuilding a broken system. The conversation was originally a virtual New York University Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network Book Talk in October 2022. Order Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America here (use STRICT10 at checkout for 10% off!) Read more about Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Watch this documentary about lawyer and activist Pauli Murray, an often under-credited legal pioneer of civil rights, racial justice and gender justice, and listen to Strict Scrutiny's interview with the film makers Learn more about the International Refugee Assistance Project
Kate and Leah were live from the University of Pennsylvania in Strict Scrutiny's first live show of 2023! Penn Law Professor Jasmine E. Harris joined the hosts to recap arguments in a case that could impact disability rights. Kate and Leah recap two other arguments, in a case about immigration law and another about the ability to criminally prosecute corporations owned by foreign states. Plus, a major update about the Supreme Court's "investigation" into who leaked the draft opinion of Dobbs last spring. And Temple University Law School Dean Rachel Rebouche joined the hosts to talk about some concerning updates in abortion access-- an unfortunately commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Here’s the report summarizing the Supreme Court's investigation into who leaked the Dobbs opinion. (TLDR: they still don't know who did it, but they tried their best? Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said so.)
Kate, Melissa, and Leah recap the Supreme Court's the first oral arguments of 2023, which includes cases about union labor laws, attorney-client privilege, and Puerto Rico's sovereign immunity. Plus-- some theories about why the Court hasn't issued any opinions this term, and some breaking news in the investigation over the leaked Dobbs opinion. Listen to our past episode on the 303 Creative v. Elenis case that's mentioned this week. Listen to this episode of America Dissected which features Melissa. She discusses the COVID-19 vaccine mandate cases argument that's discussed in this week's episode.
Melissa, Kate, and Leah reconvene to preview the cases the Supreme Court will hear in its January sitting. Manny Pastreich, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 32BJ, joins us to lay out the stakes in a pair of cases involving labor unions.
Tomiko Brown-Nagin joins Melissa and Kate to discuss her book Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality. You may recognize the name Constance Baker Motley from Ketanji Brown Jackson's speech upon receiving her nomination to SCOTUS. Motley was the first black woman to be appointed to the federal bench-- and she and Justice Jackson share a birthday. Judge Motley's story illustrates the fights for equality, across race and gender lines, in the mid-20th century. Order Civil Rights Queen at Bookshop.org and use code STRICT10 at check-out for 10% off.
Before we can really get into the holiday spirit, we have to deal with the lump of coal the Supreme Court heard on December 7th: Moore v. Harper. The case is about a fringe legal theory that says that when it comes to regulating elections, state legislatures can do anything they want-- even violate the state constitution-- and state courts can’t intervene to stop them. It's bad, scary, foreboding, toxic, etc. Leah, Kate, and Melissa recap the arguments-- and then take a refreshing walk in a winter wonderland with this year's list of Our Favorite Things! If you're still doing your holiday shopping, we've got lots of recs.
The Supreme Court recently heard 2.5 hours of oral arguments in 303 Creative v. Elenis-- the case about a Colorado website designer who doesn't want to create wedding websites for gay couples. The arguments were absolutely bonkers, with justices invoking kids in KKK uniforms, Black mall Santas, dating sites for people seeking affairs, and re-education camps. Leah, Kate, and Melissa recap the arguments and what they may portend for the future of LGBTQ rights.
Melissa and Kate recap oral arguments in a couple of cases that could limit the reach of federal fraud statutes, plus an immigration case out of Texas. And of course, there's the latest story out of the New York Times, spilling the tea on a years-long effort by conservative activists to ingratiate themselves with Supreme Court justices. On December 6th, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Moore v. Harper, a case about the independent state legislature idea/thingamajig/fantasy. We've covered it extensively, so catch up on previous episodes before the chaos is unleashed on Wednesday. "Debunking the Independent State Legislature Fantasy" with Jamelle Bouie and Carolyn Shapiro "Turning Fan Fiction Into Reality" HUGE reminder that it’s run-off time in Georgia. Early voting started Monday, November 28th for the December 6th election. That’s TOMORROW. If you're a Georgia voter, head over to votesaveamerica.com to make your plan.And if you want to help out no matter where you live, you can donate and find remote and in-person volunteer opportunities to make sure the Warnock campaign has the resources it needs.51 senators means the difference between a true majority, or being faced with another 2 years of roadblocks like problem children Kyrsten Sinema & Joe Manchin. Make sure that every Georgia voter can make their voice heard again at votesaveamerica.com.
On Saturday, the New York Times published a piece about a former anti-abortion leader's claim that he was told the outcome of a 2014 Supreme Court case before it was public. The story offers a glimpse at a years-long campaign by conservative activists to obtain access to and ingratiate themselves with Supreme Court justices. It's really wild and really disturbing-- so Leah, Kate, and Melissa convene for an emergency episode to discuss.
Rebecca Nagle, host of Crooked Media's This Land, joins Melissa, Leah, and Kate to recap the arguments in Haaland v. Brackeen. The case revolves around the Indian Child Welfare Act, which lays out a set of preferences for where Native American children can be placed for foster care and adoption. The challengers, white foster parents trying to adopt Native American children, are claiming a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. But as Rebecca explains, tribal sovereignty isn't racial-- it's political. Plus, we take a look at the midterm outcomes and what they mean for the courts. Listen to Season 2 of This Land, all about the back story of Haaland v. Brackeen. Read Rebecca Nagle's piece in The Atlantic, "The Supreme Court Case That Could Break Native Sovereignty."
On Halloween, the Supreme Court will hear pair of cases challenging affirmative action in university admissions. Spooky! Janai Nelson, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, joins Melissa, Kate, and Leah to preview the cases. Listen to an episode on race conscious remedies from our spin-off show, Irrational Basis Review
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