Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, Justice, and the Courts

Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, Justice, and the Courts

www.slate.com/podcasts
A legal podcast with Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick


Impeachment Primer
Oct 12 • 69 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by all-star SCOTUS experts to walk us through this week’s biggest legal and constitutional developments. First, Laurence Tribe answers the questions Amicus listeners have been asking about the next steps in the impeachment…
Get Ready for the Most Significant Supreme Court Term in a Decade
Oct 5 • 47 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, who explains the biggest cases facing the Supreme Court this term. Then Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights,…
How Donald Trump Weaponizes the Law
Sep 28 • 82 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Walter Dellinger to discuss impeachment, and the role of White House lawyers in “Ukraine-gate”. And James Zirin, author of Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits , breaks down the President’s history…
The Clerk’s Eye View of Justice John Paul Stevens
Sep 14 • 68 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Professor Sonja West of the University of Georgia School of Law and Professor Jamal Greene of Columbia Law School, both former clerks to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. They discuss his life, legacy, and the lessons…
Redefining The Executive Power
Aug 31 • 57 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Julian Mortenson, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan to discuss his work to re-frame the conversation around “the executive power”. His paper, “Article II Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative” traces…
Lawyers, Who Needs ‘Em?
Aug 17 • 41 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Rebecca Sandefur, who turns a sociologist’s eye to civil justice. Civil justice problems can lead to bankruptcy, homelessness, illness, family separation and poverty, but Sandefur says what makes it to the courts is just the…
Let’s Start with Race
Aug 3 • 66 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, for a wide reaching conversation about race and gender and the stories America tells itself so it can sleep at night. Starting with…
The End of an Era, and the Cult of the Constitution.
Jul 20 • 61 min
In a week marked by rising rancor, when racist rhetoric ricocheted out of the president’s twitter feed and into a chanting crowd at his reelection rally, the end of an era almost slid under the radar. Dahlia Lithwick reflects on the passing of Justice…
High Crimes and Misdemeanors
Jul 6 • 59 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Frank Bowman, author of the upcoming book High Crimes and Misdemeanors, A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump about the big question: Impeachment, its historical precedent, constitutional roots, and present day…
Ready, Set, Gerrymander!
Jun 29 • 41 min
A round table round-up of the 2018 Supreme Court term with Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, Professor Pam Karlan of Stanford and Professor Leah Litman of the University of Michigan Law School. Analysis of the census case, the gerrymandering…
Trumpcast: An Interview With E. Jean Carroll
Jun 27 • 38 min
Dahlia Lithwick joins Trumpcast as a special guest co-host for an intimate conversation with journalist E. Jean Carroll, author of “What Do We Need Men For.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Flowers, Crosses, Clauses and Oaths
Jun 22 • 66 min
A flurry of decisions this week, but few big-ticket items. Mark Joseph Stern takes us through the opinions and dissents in Flowers v Mississippi, Gundy v United States and American Legion v American Humanist Association. Dahlia Lithwick is also joined by…
Clarence Thomas Said What?
Jun 8 • 44 min
When Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 20 page concurrence to the Indiana abortion law case last week, Adam Cohen’s phone started blowing up. In making an argument linking abortion rights to eugenics, Justice Thomas repeatedly cited Cohen’s book, Imbeciles:…
“Slouching Toward Gilead”
May 25 • 68 min
A swathe of draconian abortion laws have been passed by states around the country in the past few weeks, but Alabama outdid them all. Legislators there are clearly hoping Justice Kavanagh will nullify Roe v Wade with a stroke of a pen, but there are quite…
A Judge, on Judging
May 11 • 64 min
Judges are at the center of every conversation on Amicus, but never as guests on the show. Until today. Dahlia Lithwick has a wide-ranging and illuminating conversation with Robert Lasnik, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District…
The Fight for LGBTQ Protections Under the Civil Rights Act
Apr 27 • 73 min
Mark Joseph Stern guest hosts and digs into two cases in the Supreme Court this week. First, the court’s questioning if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act extends to LGBTQ protections. Then, the addition of the citizenship question on the 2020 census.…
Extra: Redactionist History
Apr 18 • 25 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by former department of Justice spokesperson Matt Miller and Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman for a read of the (redacted) Mueller report. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Death Penalty Dust-Ups at the High Court
Apr 13 • 49 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Harvard Law School Professor Carol Steiker, co-author of Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment to explore recent death penalty cases before the Supreme Court and why the 8th amendment has raised tensions…
Kavanaugh and Kagan Had a Moment
Mar 30 • 69 min
Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern unpack the arguments in the North Carolina and Maryland gerrymander cases heard by the Supreme Court this week, and Aaron Belkin of advocacy group Pack the Courts tells us why packing the courts is becoming a serious…
Lawyers are Tackling our Democracy Problem Via the Take Care Clause
Mar 16 • 63 min
Dahlia Lithwick pans back this week to assess what’s holding and what’s buckling in terms of norms and institutions, two years and change into the Trump presidency. She’s joined by Ian Bassin of Protect Democracy, a new kind of litigation shop looking at…
The Case Regarding the So-Called Emergency
Mar 2 • 64 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by conservative lawyer Stuart Gerson and finds common ground over the President’s declaration of a national emergency so he can build the wall. And Leah Litman helps us take a lawyerly look at Michael Cohen’s testimony before…
Parsing the Shadow Docket
Feb 16 • 55 min
This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at simplisafe.com/amicus. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Dean Risa Goluboff and Vice-Dean Leslie Kenrick of the University of Virginia School of Law. Together, they tackle issues…
Amicus Presents: The Pre-Crime Unit
Feb 9 • 47 min
Predictive policing technology is spreading across the country, and Los Angeles is the epicenter. A small group of LA activists are in a lopsided campaign against billions of dollars in city, federal, and Silicon Valley money using algorithms to predict…
What Did We Learn From The Trans Ban Injunction Decision?
Feb 2 • 59 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Sharon McGowan, legal director of Lambda Legal, to discuss how they’re fighting the trans ban following SCOTUS decision to lift the injunctions on the policy going into action. Also, Dahlia gets the latest on the Mueller…
We’re Back to Where Mueller Began: Counterintelligence
Jan 19 • 50 min
UPDATE: On the evening Friday January 18th, after production of this episode of Amicus had wrapped, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr issued the following statement: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and…
The Threat of National Emergency
Jan 11 • 20 min
What would a national emergency look like, and why hasn’t Trump declared one yet? Dahlia Lithwick has answers and joins What Next, Slate’s new daily news podcast, Plus: Was it weird that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t at work this week? Tell us what you think…
Chief Justice John Roberts, a Rock, and a Hard Place
Jan 5 • 60 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Joan Biskupic, CNN legal analyst and author of the upcoming book The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts, to unpack John Roberts’ State of the Judiciary address, and to examine the state of the…
The Incrementalist RBG
Dec 22, 2018 • 49 min
Before news of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lung surgery broke, Dahlia Lithwick sat down for a revealing conversation with the screenwriter Daniel Stiepelman about the RBG biopic he penned, On The Basis of Sex. Stiepelman also happens to be Justice…
Mapping the Mueller Investigation
Dec 8, 2018 • 69 min
*This week’s show was recorded before Friday’s filings concerning Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, but the merits of the discussion stand. Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, now a Criminal Justice Fellow at Pace…
A Hard Line on Acosta’s Hard Pass
Nov 24, 2018 • 32 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Ted Boutrous, who represented CNN and Jim Acosta in their case against the White House. Jim Acosta’s “hard pass” or permanent press pass, was revoked by the Trump administration after Acosta clashed with the President at a…
“Taking a Wrecking Ball to Our Constitution”
Nov 10, 2018 • 60 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Neal Katyal, former acting Solicitor General under President Barack Obama and co-author of this op-ed in The New York Times. Also on Amicus this week, Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s voting rights project on why their current…
SPECIAL: The Deadly Shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue
Nov 3, 2018 • 22 min
Dahlia Lithwick and her son Coby talk to Rabbi Chuck Diamond about the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Diamond was the rabbi at Tree of Life for seven years and originally met Dahlia when she was 10 years old. The three of…
Docket Deep Dive and Is It Time to Freak Out About Voting?
Oct 27, 2018 • 57 min
Dahlia Lithwick talks with Slate’s own Mark Joseph Stern about what to look out for this term. Professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, Rick Hasen discusses how free and fair the midterm elections will be in light of recent Supreme Court…
Amicus Presents: Legal Wars
Oct 22, 2018 • 10 min
The courtroom can be a battlefield over money, people’s rights, and even their lives. For some cases, the consequences can affect us long after the verdict is read. Based on extensive interviews and court transcripts, Wondery’s new podcast LEGAL WARS puts…
Due Processing
Oct 13, 2018 • 57 min
Dahlia Lithwick talks with Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon about the “deep wounds” in the senate following Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And she’s joined by Vox’s Matthew Yglesias who brings his nihilism about the institution of the Supreme Court to…
Live from Austin
Oct 1, 2018 • 68 min
In a special episode recorded live at Slate Day during Tribfest in Austin, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean of Boston University Law School, Cristina Rodriguez, Leighton Homer Surbeck professor of law at Yale Law School, Stephen…
The Press, The President, and Enemy Construction
Sep 29, 2018 • 56 min
This week Dahlia Lithwick looks at freedom of the press through the lens of legal scholarship. Lithwick is joined by Professor Lisa Sun of Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and RonNell Andersen Jones, the Lee E. Teitelbaum Chair &…
Introducing Slate Day
Sep 24, 2018 • 0 min
Join Dahlia Lithwick for a conversation on the Supreme Court with Angela Onwuachi-Willig, dean and professor of law at Boston University; Cristina Rodríguez, a professor of law at Yale University; Stephen Vladeck, professor of law at the University of…
SPECIAL: Surviving a School Shooting, From a Teacher’s Point of View
Sep 20, 2018 • 29 min
In an intimate conversation, three educators who survived school shootings talk to Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick about the trauma of going back to the classroom. For a transcript, visit Slate.com/TeacherPodcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Roe v Kavanaugh
Sep 15, 2018 • 58 min
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Professor Melissa Murray of NYU Law School, who gave blistering testimony at the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings last week. They talk Roe v Wade, when precedent counts and when it doesn’t, and what the likely confirmation of…
Back to School Protest Special
Sep 1, 2018 • 60 min
Student activism is back in America’s schools. Young people mobilizing around gun safety and social justice issues are heading back to school. We talk to Mary Beth Tinker, who took her fight for the right to protest at school all the way to the Supreme…
Barbie, Bratz, and Who Owns Your Dreams?
Aug 18, 2018 • 41 min
You Don’t Own Meis Orly Lobel’s fascinating examination of a landmark legal battle between plastic dolls. The Mattel v MGA, Barbie v Bratz case exposed questions about gender, culture and rights in the workplace. This episode of Amicus takes you inside a…
A Taftian Antidote to Trumpian Excesses
Aug 4, 2018 • 40 min
Amicus’ summer of exploring great legal writing continues this week with Jeff Rosen, whose biography of William Howard Taft reveals a president who was scrupulous in observing constitutional boundaries, and much happier on the bench than in the White…
The Scalia Factor
Jul 21, 2018 • 52 min
In the first of a series of deep dives into great legal reads this summer, Dahlia Lithwick talks with Rick Hasen, author of “The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption” about civil discourse, rock star justices, and what…
The Argument That Could Reclaim the Supreme Court for Democrats
Jul 7, 2018 • 33 min
This week Dahlia LIthwick talks with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic senator from Rhode Island, about what we can expect over the next several months as Donald Trump nominates a new associate justice to the Supreme Court. He talks about why…
With Kennedy Gone, What’s on the Chopping Block?
Jun 30, 2018 • 50 min
The Supreme Court’s 2017 term ended with some blockbuster opinions and, most dramatically, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement. On a special edition of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate legal writer Mark Joseph Stern and University…
Voting: Purging, Packing, Cracking, Standing
Jun 23, 2018 • 44 min
Dahlia Lithwick takes a close look at the two big voting rights cases decided by the Supreme Court earlier this week with Paul Smith who argued for the plaintiffs in the Wisconsin political gerrymander case Gill v. Whitford. On Monday, the court sent Gill…
Bonus: Live From the ACLU
Jun 13, 2018 • 71 min
Dahlia Lithwick moderates a discussion of civil rights and legal norms in the Trump era with the ACLU’s David Cole, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Vanita Gupta, former White House chief ethics counsel under…
Religious Belief, Sincerely Held
Jun 9, 2018 • 68 min
An epic Amicus this week, with a thorough analysis of Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission with Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. What does is tell us about Justice Anthony Kennedy’s plans, and can it tell us anything about the travel ban…
The Impeachment Question
May 26, 2018 • 46 min
While President Trump demands an investigation into the investigators investigating the investigation, the clamour to impeach grows ever more fervent in some quarters. Dahlia Lithwick explores the legal and constitutional questions surrounding impeachment…
The State of the State Attorneys General
May 12, 2018 • 40 min
As the ripples from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s resignation after allegations of violence against women continue, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joins Dahlia Lithwick to discuss the role of State Attorneys General and…
Travel Ban 3.0 and Rinsing off Religious Animus for SCOTUS
Apr 27, 2018 • 57 min
This week Amicus takes you inside the chamber for a forensic discussion of the last, and possibly the most significant, oral arguments of this Supreme Court term. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Josh Geltzer, executive director of the Institute for…
The Rule of Law and the Ethics of Poking the Bear
Apr 14, 2018 • 46 min
It seems as though a slow motion constitutional crisis may be upon us. In this episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Lawfare blog editor and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Ben Wittes, to assess the threats to the rule of law posed…
Don’t Call It an Abortion Case
Mar 31, 2018 • 60 min
On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Priscilla Smith, director of the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School, to unpack the oral arguments in NIFLA v Becerra, the latest case on the calendar that seems to be about…
All The President’s Lawyers
Mar 17, 2018 • 53 min
This week Dahlia Lithwick calls on white-collar-crime specialist Jennifer Taub to follow the money in the Mueller investigation. She also speaks with Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, about the relationship between…
When Did Corporations Become People?
Mar 3, 2018 • 60 min
On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler to talk about his new book We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights. Together, they also examine what the constitutionalizing of corporate rights…
A Preview of a Union-Busting Case, and RBG’s Greatest Hits Tour
Feb 17, 2018 • 62 min
In this week’s episode, Professor Leah Litman joins Dahlia Lithwick to tune into Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comments on #MeToo and due process. And for a full background check on the sexy-sounding Janus v. AFSCME case, which potentially poses an…
Immigration: Whose Call Is It Anyway?
Feb 3, 2018 • 37 min
This week the high court is on its winter break, but the team here at Amicus wanted to talk about DACA, the travel ban, and issues around immigrants, refugees, and the law. We talk Americanism. Who is American and how? What do the courts have to say about…
“The Gross Spectacle of a Divided Defense”
Jan 20, 2018 • 63 min
We’re inside the chamber for the high-profile case involving a death row inmate from Louisiana who’s asking for a new trial after his lawyer told the jury his client was guilty, despite the client’s insistence that he was innocent. Jay Schweikert, a…
The Right Not to Vote
Jan 6, 2018 • 60 min
Sometimes the technical stuff is how you get to the crucial stuff. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear a case about Ohio’s voter purge, and the case rests on some sticky statutory interpretation questions. Up to 1.2 million voters may have been purged…
#MeToo in the Courts
Dec 23, 2017 • 66 min
The cultural whirlwind of #MeToo has reached the judiciary, reluctantly bringing Dahlia Lithwick into the fray along with it. In a piece for Slate, she detailed her firsthand experiences with Judge Alex Kozinski. Dahlia’s was one of many accounts that…
Probing the Mueller Probe, and Inside the Chamber for Masterpiece Cakeshop
Dec 9, 2017 • 62 min
The Mueller investigation keeps keeping on as subtweets, speculation, and objections mount. Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Andrew Wright, a former associate counsel to President Barack Obama about the latest developments. Plus a deep dive into the oral…
Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate | Martha
Nov 28, 2017 • 24 min
Amicus presents a preview of Slow Burn, an eight-episode miniseries about Watergate. People called her crazy, and to be fair she must have seemed crazy. But she was onto something. How Martha Mitchell, the celebrity wife of one of Nixon’s closest…
Why the Cakeshop Case is So Delicious
Nov 25, 2017 • 37 min
As the high court continues through its unprecedented session, Dahlia speaks with Adam Liptak who covers the Supreme Court for the New York Times and knows the ins and outs of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. And he gives his insight on what a jaw-dropping…
Guns in America and the Travel Ban that Went Unnoticed
Nov 11, 2017 • 59 min
In the wake of another American mass shooting, Dahlia speaks with Adam Skaggs, Chief counsel at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence about the Second Amendment. And as this week marks the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election to…
The 25th Amendment, What’s That?
Oct 28, 2017 • 47 min
Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Representative Jamie Raskin about the Republican remedy for Trump’s unfitness for office: The 25th Amendment. Plus, she speaks with ProPublica’s Ryan Gabrielson about his recent reporting which revealed that the high court…
The Single Most Unremarked Win of the Trump Era
Oct 14, 2017 • 34 min
Dahlia is joined by Kristen Clarke, President & Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to talk about the federal judiciary and how Donald Trump is speedily filling the vacancies on the federal bench. Learn more…
The Supreme Court Term RBG Is Calling “Momentous”
Sep 30, 2017 • 49 min
As next week marks the opening of the 2017 term at the high court, Dahlia Lithwick speaks with David Cole, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, about some of the cases in this upcoming term, including Trump’s travel ban, a civil rights…
Gerrymandering Goes Back to Court
Sep 16, 2017 • 37 min
When the Supreme Court term opens next month, perhaps no issue will be more urgent – and more complicated – than voting rights. One of the first cases the justices will hear is Gill v. Whitford, a challenge to the 2011 redrawing of district lines in…
Breakfast Table Redux
Jun 28, 2017 • 59 min
The Supreme Court’s 2016 term may not have contained the usual number of blockbuster cases, but it did have its fair share of drama. Between the stonewalling of Merrick Garland, the filibustered confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, rumors about Anthony Kennedy’s…
Nice Little FBI You’ve Got Here. Pity if Something Happened to it.
Jun 10, 2017 • 52 min
In his much-anticipated testimony on Capitol Hill this week, former FBI Director James Comey described several uncomfortable interactions with President Trump that preceded his firing. The big question for all watching was: could any of those interactions…
Clarence Thomas is Color Blind
May 28, 2017 • 43 min
This week, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that caught some Court-watchers off-guard. It ruled that North Carolina lawmakers had violated the Constitution by using race as a proxy for divvying up voters along partisan lines. And it was surprising…
Animus Amicus
May 13, 2017 • 52 min
In the wake of the unceremonious termination of FBI director James Comey this week, one previously unfamiliar name has dominated the news cycle: Rod J. Rosenstein. The former federal prosecutor became the U.S. Deputy Attorney General just over two weeks…
The Myth of the Neutral Expert
Apr 29, 2017 • 46 min
The Supreme Court has slowed Arkansas’ unprecedented rush to execute eight men in 11 days, pending a decision in McWilliams v. Dunn. At issue in the case is whether James McWilliams, an indigent defendant whose mental health was a significant factor at…
Playground of Liberty
Apr 14, 2017 • 52 min
Newly sworn-in Justice Neil Gorsuch gets his first chance to make his mark on the Court at this week’s oral arguments for Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. The important case asks whether the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause compels the state of Missouri…
When Prosecutors Keep Mum
Apr 1, 2017 • 53 min
In 1985, eight men were convicted of the grisly murder of a Washington D.C. woman. After spending decades in prison, they learned from an article in the Washington Post that prosecutors had withheld evidence from trial that could have exculpated them.…
Gorsuch Grins, Says Nothing
Mar 25, 2017 • 44 min
This week, the Senate held four days of hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. What did we learn about Gorsuch from his 20-odd hours in the hot seat? Did the Democrats gain anything of value from the…
Why It’s Worth Opposing Gorsuch
Mar 18, 2017 • 48 min
After a successful blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, the GOP-led Senate will convene hearings this week on President Trump’s pick for the Court’s year-old vacancy. Considering all that has happened in the past year, how should Democrats…
Never Mind
Mar 4, 2017 • 53 min
On Monday, the Department of Justice announced an abrupt about-face on voting rights, essentially walking away from a lawsuit against a harsh voter-ID law in Texas. We discuss the reversal and its implications with Janai Nelson of the NAACP Legal Defense…
General Strike
Feb 18, 2017 • 51 min
In 2010, a Mexican teenager in Juarez was shot to death by a Border Patrol agent on the U.S. side of the border. In Hernandez v. Mesa, set for argument next week, the Supreme Court will determine whether the boy’s parents can sue the agent in U.S. courts.…
“SEE YOU IN COURT”
Feb 11, 2017 • 38 min
A little more than a week after President Trump announced his ban on travel from a handful of majority-Muslim nations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week refused to lift a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the new…
Will You Accept This Robe?
Feb 3, 2017 • 62 min
In an elaborately choreographed prime-time ceremony this week, President Trump tapped Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court seat that has been vacant for almost a year. We sit down with the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Elizabeth Wydra to…
Immunity in High Places
Jan 21, 2017 • 52 min
Can a group of wrongfully-detained noncitizens sue high-ranking Bush Administration officials for violating their rights in the days following 9/11? That’s the central question in Ziglar v Abbasi, which was argued this week at the Supreme Court. On…
And Then There Were Eight
Jan 7, 2017 • 48 min
In the lead-up to November’s presidential election, Donald Trump released a list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees in what many saw as an effort to mollify conservatives who tend to worry about these sorts of things. Now, that list has reportedly…
Corruption in the White House
Dec 24, 2016 • 59 min
“[N]o person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” These words, from Article I of…
Where We Draw the Line
Dec 10, 2016 • 39 min
On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in McCrory v. Harris and Bethune-Hill v. Virginia Board of Elections, two challenges to Republican gerrymandering efforts that resulted in the creation of majority-minority voting districts. At issue is whether…
The Specter of Korematsu
Nov 30, 2016 • 36 min
Just a few weeks into the era of President-elect Donald Trump, and already there is a lot of bruising around the edges of the Constitution. The past few weeks have brought talk of Muslim registries, jail time for flag burners, restrictions on voting and…
Trump’s Constitution
Nov 12, 2016 • 26 min
In the days leading up to Election Day, conservative legal scholar Orin Kerr explained why he would be crossing the aisle to vote for a Democrat. On this episode, he tells us why the prospect of a President Trump frightened him so much, and what we can…
Intimidation Nation
Oct 29, 2016 • 43 min
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v Holder, many states made changes to their voting laws that may disproportionately harm minorities. This week, lawyers in Ohio filed an emergency motion with the Supreme Court requesting a…
And Now a Word from the White House
Oct 14, 2016 • 45 min
After President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in March, there was widespread speculation that opposing his confirmation hearings could have political costs for Republican senators. But seven months later, it’s not clear how much the…
2016 Term Preview
Oct 1, 2016 • 46 min
The 2016 Supreme Court term gets underway next week, but don’t get too excited. Eager to avoid any more 4-4 split decisions, the eight remaining justices have cobbled together a caseload that steers clear of the big social questions that defined the…
Notorious RBG
Sep 17, 2016 • 41 min
We kick off a brand new season of our podcast with an episode devoted to the member of the Supreme Court bench who has garnered by far the most headlines since our last episode. That’s right, it’s the slavish fangirl edition of Amicus, in which we cave to…
That’s a Wrap
Jul 2, 2016 • 62 min
On Monday, the Supreme Court invalidated two provisions of Texas’ omnibus abortion law known as HB2. The 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was a big win for abortion rights advocates, many of whom expected things to turn out the other…
Goodbye, General!
Jun 25, 2016 • 55 min
Marriage equality. Voting Rights. Obamacare. These are among the many enormously consequential causes that have fallen to Donald Verrilli to defend at the Supreme Court over the past five years. On this week’s episode, he looks back on some of the…
What Would Brandeis Do?
Jun 11, 2016 • 53 min
Much of the legal world’s attention was focused this week on Donald Trump’s attacks on Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud cases in California. The outrage centered on Trump’s insistence that the fact of Curiel’s…
A Bird with a Broken Wing
May 28, 2016 • 43 min
Despite many appearances to the contrary, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer this week told an interviewer that the Court has not been diminished by the Senate’s inability to fill its empty seat. On this episode, Dahlia considers that claim with The…
Memory Lane
May 14, 2016 • 44 min
Dahlia sits down with Tony Mauro of the National Law Journal to listen to highlights from the Supreme Court’s 2015 term. And she speaks with Politico’s Josh Gerstein about recent non-developments in the non-confirmation of SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland.…
This is Not Corruption
Apr 30, 2016 • 32 min
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in McDonnell v. United States, an appeal of the 2014 corruption conviction of Virginia’s former governor. The facts of the case read a bit like a reality show, with Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife affording…
Contra Obama
Apr 16, 2016 • 35 min
Dahlia previews United States v. Texas – this week’s big immigration case – with Brianne Gorod of the Constitutional Accountability Center. She also hears from Sen. Al Franken about the latest in the standoff over Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, Merrick Garland.…
The Case Against the Case Against Confirmation
Apr 2, 2016 • 37 min
More than two weeks have passed since President Obama tapped Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court. But while their rationale has shifted somewhat, Senate Republican leaders remain as firm as ever in their refusal to…
The Contraceptive Mandate
Mar 26, 2016 • 46 min
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Zubik v Burwell, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act. This time, a group of religious non-profits are challenging the government’s accommodation for employers who don’t want to have anything to…
Is the Burden Undue?
Mar 6, 2016 • 48 min
It was a big week at SCOTUS, as a newly-balanced Court turned to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, its first abortion case in nine years. We discuss the case with legal scholar Pamela Karlan and listen to some highlights from oral arguments. Amicus is…
The Contradictions of Antonin Scalia
Feb 20, 2016 • 51 min
A week after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, his former clerk Rachel Barkow shares fond memories of a mentor with whom she didn’t always agree politically. And legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar explains why Scalia didn’t always remain true to his…
Amicus Extra: Antonin Scalia’s Death
Feb 14, 2016 • 29 min
The sudden death on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday has unleashed huge shockwaves in both the presidential race and the legal community. Luckily, Slate has podcasts covering both areas. In this special joint episode, Amicus host Dahlia…
The Candidates and the Court
Feb 6, 2016 • 28 min
On this episode, Dahlia asks why the Supreme Court has been almost absent as a campaign issue, despite the fact that the next president could have the opportunity to reshape the Court’s bench. She is joined by UC-Irvine law professor Erwin Chemerinsky.…
The Case of the Missing Constitutional Violation
Jan 26, 2016 • 30 min
In Heffernan v City of Paterson, the Supreme Court must decide whether a government worker can be punished for a political belief his employers attribute to him – rightly or wrongly. This week, Dahlia speaks with lawyers on both sides of the topsy-turvy…
Labor Pains
Jan 9, 2016 • 39 min
This week, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could undercut the ability of public sector unions to raise money. Dahlia is joined by Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro and U. of Michigan’s Sam Bagenstos, who submitted briefs on opposite sides of the case.…
Judging Tribal Courts
Dec 24, 2015 • 34 min
Dahlia speaks with attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle about Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a major Native American rights case argued at the Supreme Court earlier this month. Please let us know what you think of Amicus. Our…
One Person, One Vote
Dec 12, 2015 • 46 min
What is the meaning of “one person, one vote? That’s the main question in Evenwel v. Abbott, argued this week at the Supreme Court. On this episode, Dahlia speaks with Andrew Grossman and Nathaniel Persily — experts on opposing sides of the case. She also…
Color Blind Constitution
Nov 28, 2015 • 44 min
A half-century after Brown v. Board of Education, should the Supreme Court still be in the business of integrating public schools and universities? Dahlia sits down with University of Virginia legal historian Risa Golubuff to discuss the backdrop to the…
Class Dismissed?
Nov 14, 2015 • 34 min
Dahlia speaks with Carter Phillips, the lawyer who represented Tyson Foods at the Supreme Court this week in Tyson’s attempt to dismiss a class action suit by its workers. She also considers the love-hate relationship between presidential hopefuls and the…
Strike Zone
Oct 30, 2015 • 45 min
Dahlia previews Foster v. Chatman, a Supreme Court appeal that contends with the problem of racial bias in the process of jury selection. Her guests include Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights; and Glenn Ivey, a former…
No Second Chances
Oct 16, 2015 • 32 min
Dahlia speaks with law professor Robert J. Smith about Montgomery v. Louisiana, a Supreme Court case that focuses on a man who has served 53 years in prison for a murder he committed as a juvenile. Please let us know what you think of Amicus. Our email is…
The Machinery of Death
Oct 9, 2015 • 33 min
As serious questions about lethal injection protocols continue to swirl, Dahlia speaks with The Marshall Project’s Andrew Cohen about where the Supreme Court currently stands on the constitutionality of the death penalty. Please let us know what you think…
2015 Term Preview
Sep 19, 2015 • 35 min
Dahlia sits down with the LA Times’ David Savage to consider three of the big cases on the SCOTUS docket this fall — and whether liberals are right to be worried about the outcomes of those cases. *********** Transcripts of Amicus are available to Slate…
Sandra and Ruth
Sep 11, 2015 • 34 min
Dahlia sits down with Linda Hirshman, author of Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. Hirshman recounts the two women’s rise to the SCOTUS bench and reflects on the impact they’ve…
Sock the Vote
Aug 22, 2015 • 34 min
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Dahlia sits down with The Nation’s Ari Berman to discuss the decades-long campaign to roll back the achievements of the landmark 1965 legislation. ************************* Please let us know what you…
The Term in Review
Jul 4, 2015 • 43 min
Dahlia sits down with three fellow SCOTUS-watchers — Kenji Yoshino, Mark Joseph Stern, and Christian Turner — to reflect on the just-completed term and how it will go down in history. Transcripts of Amicus are available to Slate Plus members. Consider…
Amicus: The Storm Arrives
Jun 26, 2015 • 31 min
With the ink barely dry on two momentous Supreme Court decisions affecting marriage equality and health care, Dahlia discusses the history, high points, and likely impact of those decisions with Walter Dellinger, professor of law at Duke University, a…
The Storm Before the Storm
Jun 20, 2015 • 41 min
Dahlia is joined by The Atlantic’s Garrett Epps to parse the latest batch of 5-4 decisions from SCOTUS. They included rulings on immigration, free speech, and the death penalty, and involved some strange alliances among the Justices.…
A Certain Justice
Jun 13, 2015 • 42 min
This week, Dahlia speaks with a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas about the strong stances that Thomas has been taking recently. And she asks what’s at stake in a big challenge to “One Person One Vote” that SCOTUS will take up next term. Please let…
The Calm Before the Storm
May 30, 2015 • 31 min
On today’s episode, Dahlia takes stock of the big whammy decisions just around the corner at the Supreme Court, and considers a few of the major abortion cases that could be following shortly on their heels.Please let us know what you think of Amicus, our…
Ready for Her Close-Up
May 16, 2015 • 39 min
This week we learned that Natalie Portman will play a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a new film about the Supreme Court Justice. On this episode, Dahlia and her guests consider the recent explosion of Court-related dramatizations on the stage and screen.…
Making the Case
May 2, 2015 • 37 min
This week, we take you inside the courtroom for the recent gay marriage case at the Supreme Court. Dahlia listens to highlights of oral arguments with Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, one of the lawyers who represented same-sex couples in the historic case.…
The Politics of Law
Apr 18, 2015 • 30 min
In anticipation of big decisions on marriage equality and Obamacare, many are talking about the balance of political power on the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick speaks with two court watchers about the extent to which the Justices are political actors.…
Marriage Arrives
Apr 11, 2015 • 30 min
On April 28, the Supreme Court will finally take up the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans. Dahlia Lithwick previews the cases with Paul Smith, the lawyer involved in the 2003 gay rights case that helped set the stage for this historic event.…
Mercury Rising
Mar 28, 2015 • 31 min
How should the EPA weigh costs when regulating toxic emissions? Dahlia Lithwick speaks with lawyers on both sides of a Supreme Court case posing that question. And she reviews the highlights of a case testing the limits of free speech on license plates.…
Throwing Away the Key
Mar 14, 2015 • 32 min
Seven years after ruling that detainees at Guantanamo Bay were entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court seems to have turned its back on the remaining detainees there. On this week’s episode, we ask why.This week’s episode…
The Letter of the Law
Feb 28, 2015 • 41 min
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act — King v. Burwell — Dahlia Lithwick hears from experts on both sides of what could be the most important case in the Court’s entire term. First, she speaks…
Botched Protocols
Feb 7, 2015 • 30 min
As the Supreme Court prepares to revisit the constitutionality of lethal injection, Dahlia Lithwick speaks with two experts about the controversial drugs being used for execution and whether the capital punishment system can be repaired. This week’s…
Cameras in the Courtroom
Jan 31, 2015 • 39 min
Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Sonja West and RonNell Andersen Jones, two Supreme Court experts who don’t buy the justices’ arguments against allowing cameras in the courtroom. Help us make our podcasts even better! Take Slate’s listener survey at to…
“Thank You,” Not “Please”
Jan 24, 2015 • 35 min
Dahlia Lithwick talks to Andrew Pincus, the lawyer who brought a Supreme Court challenge this week to a law banning fundraising by judicial candidates. And she hears from the NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill on the latest challenge to the Fair Housing Act. Learn…
The Super Lawyers
Jan 10, 2015 • 36 min
Dahlia Lithwick talks to Joan Biskupic, the author of a new Reuters study about the elite “one-percent” group of lawyers who bring most of the cases at the Supreme Court. She also hears from two of these super-lawyers — Tom Goldstein and Paul Clement.…
Rapper’s Intent
Dec 6, 2014 • 33 min
Dahlia Lithwick talks to rap music scholar Charis Kubrin about Elonis v. U.S., and about how courts are using rap lyrics in criminal proceedings. She also hears from Sam Bagenstos, who argued this week’s pregnancy discrimination case Young v. United…
Mental Illness and the Death Penalty
Nov 22, 2014 • 39 min
With an execution looming, Dahlia Lithwick revisits Panetti v. Quarterman, a case involving mental illness and the death penalty. Her guests are Scott Panetti’s lawyer Kathryn Kase and Brandon Garrett of the University of Virginia. Learn more about your…
Jerusalem Born
Nov 8, 2014 • 30 min
Fresh off oral arguments in the Supreme Court, Alyza Lewin discusses Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which asks if Congress or the President has ultimate authority over passports. Plus, Yates v. U.S. debates whether grouper should qualify as “tangible objects.”…
Amicus: Ballot-Box Special
Nov 1, 2014 • 23 min
On Ep. 4 of Amicus, a pre-election special. Dahlia sits down with UC Irvine law professor Rick Hasen, founder of Election Law Blog, to survey the landscape of state voter ID laws. They consider the effect of recent headlines on voters’ confidence in…
Amicus: Revenge of the Octogenarians
Oct 25, 2014 • 35 min
On Ep. 3 of Amicus, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick talks with the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin about his recent interview with President Obama on Obama’s judicial legacy. Then Dahlia welcomes Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who won last year’s DOMA case U.S. vs.…
Amicus: Let’s Salsa with Sotomayor
Oct 18, 2014 • 33 min
On Ep. 2 of Amicus, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick and former acting solicitor general Walter Dellinger discuss the Surpreme Court’s recent non-decisions about abortion and voter I.D. laws. Then Dahlia talks with Joan Biskupic, author of a new biography of…
Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick
Oct 11, 2014 • 37 min
On Ep. 1 of Amicus, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick discusses the opening of the Surpreme Court’s new term with Tom Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUSblog. Dahlia also welcomes Douglas Laycock, who argued the case of a Muslim prisoner who wants to grow a beard. Learn…