About Strict Scrutiny
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.
For its final sitting of 2023, the Supreme Court will hear cases on the Armed Career Criminal Act, double jeopardy, and whether the government is, well, constitutional. Leah, Melissa, and Kate preview those cases, and look into a hot mess of a voting rights case in the Eighth Circuit. Plus, US Representative Ro Khanna stops by to chat about SCOTUS ethics reform. Watch the Strict Scrutiny hosts on The Problem With Jon Stewart, previewing the horrors that await in Jarkesy v. SEC Read Justice Jackson's powerful dissent from denial in the case of Michael Johnson, an Illinois inmate who was held in essentially complete isolation in a tiny, windowless cell, caked with human waste, for three years.
After months of public pressure, the Supreme Court has released its newly adopted code of ethics. But it leaves a lot to be desired! Melissa, Kate, and Leah analyze the code and find all the possible loopholes. We also talk to Molly Duane, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers in the Zurawski case out of Texas, where women suffered serious health and emotional consequences after being denied abortions. And then we welcome Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, to update us on reproductive justice in the region after abortion bans and an extremist attack on one of their clinics. Listen to our episode from August, "The Dobbs Decision Hasn't Aged Well" Listen to our episode from the day Dobbs came out: “Roe is dead. Now what?"
Kate, Melissa, and Leah recap the arguments in United States v. Rahimi, the case about the constitutionality of gun regulations, featuring diss tracks by KBJ. Listen to "How SCOTUS gutted our gun laws," our episode on the 2022 decision that started this madness
Melissa, Leah, and Kate recap cases the Supreme Court heard last week about whether government officials can block people on social media platforms. Do the justices actually understand how social media, or even the Internet, works? Unclear! Plus, a recap of the case over whether the phrase "Trump Too Small" can be trademarked. They also preview the upcoming second amendment case, United States v. Rahimi, which challenges a federal law prohibiting people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns. Read Melissa and Kate's op-ed in the New York Times, "One of the Most Brazen Republican Schemes Around Abortion Is Happening in Ohio." Check out our new shirts, dropping just in time for holiday shopping! Bluesky: leahlitman.bsky.social, profmmurray.bsky.social, Kateshaw.bsky.social, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Threads: @profleahlitman, @profmmurray, @kateashaw, @strictscrutinypodcast For a transcript of this episode, go to crooked.com/strictscrutiny
Leah, Melissa, and Kate get up to date on the various cases against former President Trump and analyze the arguments being brought in his defense. Plus, they preview the First Amendment cases the Supreme Court will hear this week-- including one about the legality of trademarking the phrase "Trump Too Small." Read about the guilty pleas from Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis Read the NYT on Amy Coney Barrett's remarks at the University of Minnesota and Clarence Thomas's RV loan Read The Washington Post on Judge James Ho's speech to The Heritage Foundation Find us on the internet! Bluesky: leahlitman.bsky.social, profmmurray.bsky.social, Kateshaw.bsky.social, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Threads: @profleahlitman, @profmmurray, @kateashaw, @strictscrutinypodcast
ProPublica's Andrea Bernstein joins Kate and Leah to talk about the new investigative podcast, "We Don't Talk About Leonard." Then, Melissa, Kate, and Leah are live from the University of Texas to talk about all the special things the state brings to the federal judiciary.
Melissa, Kate, and Leah recap the oral arguments the Supreme Court heard last week, including a big one about voting rights and redistricting (Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP). Plus, an update on the shenanigans around the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the tomfoolery in the Fifth Circuit. Read ProPublica's reporting on how U.S. Representative James Clyburn was involved in the South Carolina redistricting plan that's now before the Supreme Court Please consider donating the memorial fund for Maggie Rossman, a college classmate of Leah's who recently died from complications in childbirth Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Kate, Melissa, and Leah recap oral arguments in the cases the Supreme Court heard last week, including Acheson Hotels v. Laufer (a case about civil rights enforcement) and CFPB v. Community Financial Services Association (a case about the constitutionality of funding structures for financial agencies). Plus, more Voting Rights Act shenanigans. Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
It's the start of a new Supreme Court term... and the start of Strict Scrutiny's fifth season! While the cases ahead may seem technical and boring, they're actually quite significant. Melissa, Kate, and Leah preview the first oral arguments the Court will hear in October Term 2023. Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Do you feel that chill in the air? It’s almost the first Monday of October and that means a new SCOTUS term! You may still be recovering from the last one (don’t worry, we are too) but Melissa, Kate and Leah talk about some themes that we can expect this term like the crazy cases coming out of the Fifth Circuit and whether government (as we know it) is constitutional. They also go through the justices’ latest questionable, and in some cases egregious (Justice Thomas, we’re looking at you) ethical lapses. So pour yourself a Ginni Tonic or Hot Ginni Toddy now that it’s fall, and settle in for this week’s live show from the Texas Tribune Festival. Cases we’re watching: -Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited -Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo -Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy -Acheson Hotels, LLC v. Laufer -Harrington v. Purdue Pharma L.P. -Pulsifer v. United States -United States v. Rahimi
On September 22, Showtime and Paramount+ will release the first episode of Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court. And if you tune in, you might recognize a few faces and voices. Documentarian Dawn Porter joins Kate, Melissa, and Leah to talk about how the series came to be, and what she learned about the Supreme Court's evolution in the process. Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Being a Supreme Court podcast means we spend much of the year in dystopia. So just this once, let's look at the silver lining that is Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Amir Ali, executive director of the MacArthur Justice Center, joins Melissa, Kate, and Leah to look back on Justice Jackson's first year on the Supreme Court. Listen back to our episodes on Justice Jackson's historic nomination and hellacious confirmation hearings Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Juvaria Khan, founder of The Appellate Project, joins Melissa, Kate, and Leah to catch up on the fallout of the Supreme Court's affirmative action decision in June. Then, Melissa talks with Justice Goodwin Liu of Supreme Court of California and Mary Hoopes of Pepperdine's Caruso School of Law about their research on how judges consider diversity when hiring clerks. Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Melissa, Leah, and Kate invite two guests to zoom out and analyze how the current Supreme Court got to be the way that it is... and what progressives are doing to push back. Michael Waldman, author of The Supermajority: How the Supreme Court Divided America, provides historical context for other times the Supreme Court has challenged the country. And Brian Fallon, co-founder of Demand Justice, reflects on his tenure as Executive Director as the group challenged Democrats to get on board with judicial reform. Order The Supermajority by Michael Waldman at Bookshop.org. Code STRICT10 gets you 10% off! Read about Demand Justice's current campaigns for reform Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Easha Anand of Stanford's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic joins Kate, Melissa, and Leah to lay out what SCOTUS has been up to in the world of criminal law. But first, Kate and Leah analyze the Fifth Circuit's opinion in the mifepristone case, and what it means for people seeking abortions across the country. Listen to "What's next in a post-Roe world," our episode with Diana Greene Foster, author of The Turnaway Study Get more background on the mifepristone case in our episodes from earlier this year: "Mifepristone, Mega Yachts, and Maskgate," and "What's next for mifepristone?" Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
It's been 10 years since the Supreme Court started to dismantle the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, joins Leah and Kate to track the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the challenges against it over the decades, and the fallout from Shelby County and other voting rights cases. Order Give Us the Ballot from Bookshop.org. Code STRICT10 gets you 10% off! Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
It's been over a year since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The majority opinion, concurrences, and joint dissent all made a lot of predictions about life without Roe-- but how accurate were they? Leah, Kate, and Melissa assemble a star-studded cast to do dramatic readings of the opinions and reflect on how they've panned out. Featuring Jon Lovett as Sam Alito, Elie Mystal as Clarence Thomas, Jon Favreau as Brett Kavanaugh, and the hosts of Betches Sup (Amanda Duberman, Alise Morales, and Milly Tamarez) as the joint dissenters. Listen to our episode from the day Dobbs came out: "Roe is dead. Now what?" Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
First things first, Melissa and Leah break down Sam Alito's latest airing of grievances in the Wall Street Journal. Then, Kate joins them for a lesson in actual history from an actual historian. Kate Masur, author of Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction, joins the trio for a conversation about her Pulitzer Prize-nominated book. Follow @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content, host takeovers and other community events.
Leah, Kate, and Melissa join MSNBC's Chris Hayes (aka Mr. Kate Shaw) to fully process the drama of the last Supreme Court term. It's our second annual crossover with Why Is This Happening?! Another year, another pretty consequential Supreme Court term. SCOTUS recently ended its term with a number of big decisions including striking down affirmative action and issuing opinions in the 303 Creative case, in which the majority created a “constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class,” as noted in Justice Sotomayor’s dissent. It also invalidated the Biden administration’s student debt relief program. Meanwhile, there’s increasing concern about recent allegations of ethical improprieties of SCOTUS justices, like the luxury fishing trip, reported by ProPublica, that Justice Alito took back in 2008 with GOP billionaire Paul Singer, who later had at least 10 cases before the high court. There’s a lot to unpack and we’re excited to share our second crossover episode with the hosts of the Strict Scrutiny podcast, Chris’ wife Kate Shaw, and her co-hosts Melissa Murray and Leah Litman. They join to discuss some of the most egregious actions from the super conservative majority of the Court, what’s at stake for American democracy and cases to look out for in the next term.