The Citizen's Guide to the Supreme Court

The Citizen's Guide to the Supreme Court

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The Citizens Guide to the Supreme Court
Federal Govt. v. New Jersey: Who Ya Got??
Oct 15 • 50 min
So check it out. The intent with this episode was to have a short, slick analysis of Christie v. NCAA, which is both about gambling and federalism, but things almost immediately devolved in talk about fried chicken, Joe Arpaio, Separation of…
Legislature v. Courts: Who Ya Got??
Oct 8 • 37 min
This week’s episode covers the case of Patchak v. Zinke, which on a small scope covers whether or not the government can force you to live next to a casino, but on a broader scale deals with who wins in a fight, the branch of government filled with…
What We Did On Our Summer Vacation
Oct 1 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers three big happenings from the podcast’s summer vacation. First, Brett and Nazim discuss the 9th Circuit’s expansion of the “bona fide” relationship test, the new solicitor general, and then in a stunning twist of…
The 2016/2017 Season Finale Extravaganza!
Aug 27 • 54 min
This week’s episode marks the end of the 2016/2017 term for the podcast, and to close the book on this season Brett and Nazim discuss cases that were not selected for next term (starting at 03:46), interview the winner of last year’s Supreme Court…
The Impeachment Episode
Aug 20 • 43 min
Yo, how pumped are you right now? In this week’s episode, Brett and Nazim discuss the history and procedure of impeachment for federal government employees, including how it works (i.e. Congress), what standards are used during the process (i.e….
The Lawyer’s Guide to the Supreme Court
Aug 13 • 47 min
This week’s episode takes a practical look at the law to see how three cases influence practicing lawyers on a day to day basis. As they often do, things went on and off the rails, so this week’s episode breaks down as follows: (0:00-02:40) -…
Every Gorsuch Vote from 2017 Analyzed
Aug 6 • 49 min
This week’s episode takes a look back at every 2017 case where Justice Gorsuch submitted a vote to gauge how conservative the new Justice is in respect to the rest of the bench. Brett and Nazim discuss what it means to be “conservative” and/or…
The Citizen’s Guide BuzzFeed Quiz: Which Justice Are You?
Aug 3 • 16 min
In this mini-episode, Brett gives Nazim a Buzzfeed style quiz to determine which Supreme Court justice he most resembles. If you are starved for similar insight, please visit our twitter, facebook and/or website to learn your judicial spirit animal.
Is This an Unreasonable Extension of the Law?
Jul 30 • 42 min
This week’s podcast plays a game of whether three recent Supreme Court decisions are unreasonable extensions of the law for the travel ban (Trump v. Hawaii), eminent domain (Wisconsin v. Murr), and Brady material (Turner v. U.S.). For each case,…
The President (Probably) Can’t Pardon Himself
Jul 25 • 7 min
Brett and Nazim discuss the recent story that President Trump wants to pardon himself, and while they agree he probably can’t, they disagree on why not.
Trump, Lies, and Videotape
Jul 23 • 43 min
This week covers a trio of issues both generally and specifically related to the Trump Presidency. Brett and Nazim cover (1) the legal ramifications of the Donald Trump Jr. email scandal, (2) the Supreme Court’s ruling im Maslenjak v. U.S.,…
The Tumultuous History of Bivens Claims
Jul 16 • 57 min
In 1971, the Supreme Court established the Court’s ability to create an independent tort claim for Constitutional violations when no such claim was created by Congress. Over 40 years later, the Court is still trying to put the genie back in the…
Third Annual Summit on Guns: Police Edition
Jul 9 • 49 min
Good new for this week’s podcast, there’s a new fantasy Supreme Court champ, bad news for this week’s podcast, the police are shooting people. This week’s ushers in our Third Annual Summit on Guns by covering the cases of Hernandez v. Mesa…
The Worst Monday Morning for Liberals Since Mad Men Ended
Jul 2 • 44 min
Monday was a bad day for the KGB Spies, as the Supreme Court decided to hear the Travel Ban case, modified the existing stay, and gave kids attending a church day care a significantly less chance of cracking their skulls open. Brett and Nazim…
We Don’t Know if Kennedy Will Retire Either
Jun 27 • 24 min
Brett and Nazim wrap up the final day of the Supreme Court term by discussing Anthony Kennedy’s possible-but-maybe-not-but-probably-someday-before-the-apocalypse retirement, the same-sex birth certificate decision of Pavan v. Smith, and how a newly…
The Shape of Free Speech to Come
Jun 25 • 50 min
This week’s case covers how First Amendment Free Speech protections have adapted to internet communication (Packingham v. North Carolina) and evolving views on racism and hate speech (Lee v Tam), through two cases that are just as much about about…
9th Circuit Addendum to the Travel Ban Episode
Jun 20 • 26 min
Brett and Nazim re-visit the Travel Ban to discuss whether the 9th Circuit’s non-Constitutional approach holds more water than the sexier Establishment Clause arguments of the 4th Circuit.
Travel Ban Appeal and the Bummers of Gender Equality
Jun 18 • 39 min
This week’s episode takes a long detour through the Supreme Court’s potential review of the Travel Ban at the highest level, with Brett and Nazim discussing each potential Justices view on the appeal and staying the lower order. The case of…
Wonder Woman, GRAVE DIGGING, and Four Case Results
Jun 11 • 52 min
The podcast celebrates Brett’s birthday this week by haphazardly covering Wonder Woman (the movie), Wonder Woman (the gender quality lawsuit), digging bodies up out of a graveyard, the availability of State Codes on Google, Tyrell v. BNSF Railway…
Racial Gerrymandering, Plus Like Four Hunger Games Tangents
Jun 4 • 57 min
This week’s episode covers the case of Cooper v. Harris, a recent Supreme Court case which decided (1) when a State could use the Voting Rights Act as an excuse for racial gerrymandering and (2) when a State impermissibly used race as a factor for…
All Rise for the Mailbag Episode
May 28 • 47 min
This week’s episode covers a hodgepodge of listener questions including (02:45) Bill Cosby and the marital privilege, (13:59) modern takes on the Third Amendment, (16:23) cheese steaks and the prosecutor’s role in mass incarceration, (26:28)…
Ding! Dong! The Voter ID Laws Are Dead (kind of)!
May 21 • 45 min
This week’s episode covers the recently dismissed case of North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, v. Harris, v. Whatever Republicans Want to Stand Up for Racist Gerrymandering, which includes how influential the case would have been on the more wide-spread…
The Gay Rights Cases of Tomorrow…..TODAY!!
May 14 • 50 min
This week’s podcast covers two gay rights cases that will likely be before the Supreme Court next term. The first is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which asks whether Title VII (Brett calls it Title IX because he is terrible at roman…
GUEST EP: Congress and the ACA Repeal
May 10 • 30 min
Brett is joined by special guest Lindsey (@DCInbox) to cover the House of Representatives passage of the American Health Care Act, including the likelihood of passage through the Senate, current communication from both sides of the aisle, and how the…
Miami, Venezuela, and West Coast Sanctuary Cities
May 7 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers topical legal vacation spots, including (a) why Miami likely won the battle but lost the war, in Bank of America v. City of Miami (b) why Venezuela benefited off annoying lawyer tricks in Venezuela v. Helmerich and Payne,…
The Constitutionality of Immigrant Removal Statutes
Apr 30 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers two cases, Sessions v. Dimaya & Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, which cover the Constitutionality and fairness of removal statutes that require deportation on statutory grounds. Law starts at (09:18), but you’d be…
Results in Nelson, Manrique, & AK Death Penalty Appeals
Apr 25 • 16 min
This mini-episode covers the recent opinions in Nelson v. Colorado, Manrique v. U.S, and the Court’s recent denial of Arkansas Death Penalty Appeals.
Civil SCOTUS Lightning Round
Apr 23 • 39 min
With the 2016/2017 term plodding toward its conclusion, Brett and Nazim discuss a few civil cases that fell through the cracks, including Lewis v. Clark (covering tribal sovereign immunity for casino employees), Microsoft Corp. v. Baker (weird civil…
When Can An Airline Forcibly Drag You Off the Airplane?
Apr 16 • 38 min
Things have been pretty serious lately, so this week’s episode takes a leisurely detour into the legal implications following United Airlines forcibly dragging a passenger off the plane, which discussions on include contract law, the FAA’s agency…
Three Opinions and a Gorsuch
Apr 9 • 58 min
What started as a late night podcast covering Manuel v. City of Joliet (Ted Danson), SW General v. NLRB (Steve Guttenberg), and Moore v. Texas (Tom Selleck), ended up becoming a deeper discussion about judicial discretion and the Supreme Court…
The Most Exciting Podcast Ever About Personal Jurisdiction
Apr 2 • 49 min
This week’s episode covers a topic that will either (a) make you think differently about an important component of the American civil justice system, or (b) make you bored and confused. Brett and Nazim are hoping for the former as they cover…
Your Right to an Equally Flawed Expert in Criminal Court
Mar 26 • 49 min
In this week’s episode, Brett and Nazim discuss the importance of tuna melts, debate the fairness of Public Defender funding, discuss the scope of Ake v. Oklahoma, and finally land on McWilliams v. Dunn, a case that not only covers whether an indigent…
Travel Ban II: The Trumpire Strikes Back
Mar 22 • 25 min
In this week’s mini-episode, Brett and Nazim debate the District Court of Hawaii’s recent opinion striking down the newest iteration of Trump’s Executive Order Travel Ban.
The Big Business of Criminal Convictions
Mar 19 • 41 min
This week’s episode covers three cases that deal with how the criminal justice system makes money off criminal convictions, which include Nelson v. Colorado (whether the government has to refund your fees if you are later found guilty), Manrique v….
Three Questions about Hernandez v. Mesa
Mar 12 • 42 min
This week’s case, Hernandez v. Mesa, untangles the procedure hurdles that result when a U.S. government official standing on U.S. soil shoots and kills a Mexican citizen standing on Mexican soil. Brett and Nazim discuss three big procedural…
Chili Cheesesteaks, Trans Rights, and Racist Jurors
Mar 9 • 22 min
Today’s mini-episode covers the recent decisions in Glouchester County School Board v. G.G. and Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, which were both resolved earlier this week. Brett and Nazim also debate the merits of the “chili cheesesteak” and request…
Results in Buck & Frye, Updates in Tam & G.G.
Mar 5 • 50 min
A lot happens in the Supreme Court, and this episode fills in the gaps for cases where changes have occurred over the last few weeks. First, Brett and Nazim discuss the recent decisions in Buck v. Davis (is a racist expert grounds for IAC), and…
Miami v. the Banks
Feb 26 • 51 min
This week’s episode covers the legal adventures of Will Smith’s favorite city, as City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & City of Miami v. Bank of America covers whether or not a municipality can sue mortgage lenders for causing the late-2000s housing…
The Right to Bail in Immigration Cases
Feb 19 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers a popular topic, the government’s power to make rules regarding immigration, but from an entirely different angle. This week’s episode covers the case of Jennings v. Rodriguez, which asks the Court to decide whether or…
Emoluments Clause Family Feud
Feb 16 • 22 min
Today’s mini-episode covers the bleak prospects of the private lawsuit against President Donald Trump under the Emolument’s Clause, an obscure part of the Constitution that is probably at the peak of its general relevancy. Brett and Nazim cover…
Trump Loses in the 9th Circuit
Feb 12 • 51 min
This week’s episode continues the trend of President Trump hijacking our podcast, covering the recent Ninth Circuit decision in Washington v. Trump, which upheld the TRO preventing enforcement of Trump’s Executive Order. Brett and Nazim…
Who is Judge Neil (Gorsuch)?
Feb 5 • 44 min
This week’s episode discusses the merits of Donald Trump’s new SCOTUS pick, who Brett and Nazim have affectionately nicknamed “Judge Neil”. Brett and Nazim discuss Judge’s Neil’s judicial background, the appropriate response for Democratic…
Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration
Feb 1 • 37 min
Today’s episode covers the controversial Executive Order by Donald Trump, which bars the entry of certain foreign citizens to the United States, and the subsequent lawsuits filed by the ACLU. Brett and Nazim cover the specifics of the Order and…
GUEST EP: The Affordable Care Act Repeal
Jan 29 • 44 min
With Nazim on vacation, this week’s episode features special guest Lindsey C. (@DCInbox), who monitors Congress and Congressional communications for her website DC Inbox. Lindsey and Brett discuss the logistics and timeline for an Affordable…
Is This Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Part 2?
Jan 22 • 50 min
This week’s episode runs back America’s favorite game, where Nazim tries to guess whether or not horrible lawyer mistakes automatically entitle defendants to new trials. Brett and Nazim also cover the case of Lee v. U.S., where an immigration…
Revenge of the Enemy Combatants
Jan 15 • 41 min
The War on Terror takes a weird turn this week, as Brett and Nazim cover the cases of Ziglar v. Abbasi, Turkmen v. Abbasi, & Ashcroft v. Abasi, which decide whether or not enemy combatants who were wrongfully detained at Guantanamo Bay may sue…
A New Take on Police Shootings
Jan 11 • 21 min
In this mini-episode, Nazim checks in from across the pond to discuss White v. Pauley, the Court’s new test for imposing civil liability on government officials, and the mechanics of eating oneself to death.
SCOTUS Takes On Our Clogged Toilet Government
Jan 8 • 48 min
When history looks back on the case of NLRB v. SW General, Inc., it will serve as a weird time capsule for our current government, featuring bipartisan passive aggressiveness, poor statutory construction, and Congress doing nothing. Brett and…
Handing Over the Smoking Gun
Jan 1 • 43 min
This week’s episode covers Brady material, which is a fancy way of describing exculpatory evidence that prosecutors are Constitutionally required to hand over to criminal defendants prior to trial. Brett and Nazim discuss the origins of this…
Have a Happy [Establishment-Clause-Approved] Holiday
Dec 25, 2016 • 52 min
This week’s episode covers whether or not Christmas displays are a violation of the Establishment clause, by going through cases like Lee v. Weisman, Lynch v. Donnelly, Allegheny County v. ACLU, & McCreary County v. ACLU. In addition, Brett…
Results in Shaw and Salman
Dec 21, 2016 • 13 min
This min-episode covers the Court’s recent decisions in Shaw and Salman, two criminal procedure cases where technical arguments were denied in favor of keeping the law as is.
Who Will Think of the Children?!?
Dec 18, 2016 • 56 min
This week’s episode covers two cases that relate to the rights of children in schools, including the older case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (covering free speech) and the more recent case of Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools (covering…
How to Sue People, In 600 Easy Steps
Dec 11, 2016 • 44 min
This week’s episode is a rip-roaring dive into the exciting world of civil procedure. Brett and Nazim discuss how to start a lawsuit, why some lawsuits get dismissed before trial, and why the case of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne…
The Likely Result of Election-Based Lawsuits
Dec 6, 2016 • 10 min
Brett and Nazim drop by early this week to cover possible lawsuits challenging Donald Trump’s presidency, election, and impeachment, and why the Jill Stein Green Party lawsuits are likely to be dismissed by on procedural grounds.
Sex Offenders and Facebook
Dec 4, 2016 • 54 min
There is a lot to unpack with the case of Packingham v. North Carolina, a First Amendment case that asks whether or not the government can criminalize a sex offender’s use of social media and other popular websites. This week, Brett and Nazim…
Trans Rights, Bank Fraud and White Collar Crime
Nov 27, 2016 • 50 min
With topics like this, one would think this would be the most exciting episode of the year; however, that premise ignores the fact that the Supreme Court is a mostly boring institution. This week, Brett and Nazim cover Shaw v. U.S., Salman v….
A Fireside Chat with Brett and Nazim
Nov 23, 2016 • 30 min
Just in case you’re traveling this week, enjoy this mini-episode to pass the time. There is no specific Supreme Court case , but instead Brett and Nazim talk about where they stand with the legal profession, whether they regret going to law…
Historical Failures Appointing Supreme Court Justices
Nov 20, 2016 • 43 min
This week’s episode looks at the vacant 9th seat to the Supreme Court and the Court’s history with Justices who were appointed but never sat on the bench. FULL DISCLOSURE - This episode was recorded in the sweet, innocent time of early…
Donald Trump and the Supreme Court
Nov 13, 2016 • 50 min
However you feel about the election, it is undeniable that the Supreme Court will be changing over the next few years. To help map out some of those changes, Brett and Nazim cover a host of different topics stemming from Donald Trump’s most…
What’s the Deal with Elena Kagan?
Nov 6, 2016 • 50 min
Seriously, though. Justice Elena Kagan has the least amount of time on the bench, has been recused from big cases, and rarely writes majority opinions or dissents. Brett and Nazim tackle that question (i.e. “the Deal”) by looking at…
Big Sam on Free Speech
Oct 30, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s episode covers Justice Samuel Alito, and instead of focusing on his “Scalito” moniker, Brett and Nazim cover three cases regarding free speech that present a more tempered and emotional view of Justice Alito that rarely gets talked…
How Similar are Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor?
Oct 23, 2016 • 47 min
This week’s episode takes a deep dive into Justice Anthony Kennedy, including his background, his famous decisions and how similar he is other noted Republican-but-also-super-liberal Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Brett and Nazim also discuss how…
Sotomayor vs. Police Incompetence
Oct 16, 2016 • 48 min
Good news and bad news this week. Good news - there’s been a new addition to the Citizen’s Guide Family. Bad news - the 4th Amendment is getting ground into nothing. This week’s spotlight shines on Justice Sotomayor and the case of…
The Creative Lawyering of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Oct 9, 2016 • 45 min
Everyone knows Ruth Bader Ginsburg the Justice, but this week takes a look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg the creative ACLU attorney who helped shape intermediate scrutiny through gender disparity cases. These cases, including Fronterio v. Richardson,…
The Scalia-Thomas One-Two Punch
Oct 2, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s spotlight shines on Justice Clarence Thomas and how Thomas’ conservative views were bolstered by the presence of Justice Scalia. Brett and Nazim discuss popular Establishment Clause cases to give context to how Thomas and Scalia…
The Breyer Scale, Revisited
Sep 25, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s episode continues our weekly focus on individual Justices, with this week’s Justice du jour being Stephen Breyer. Brett and Nazim discuss Breyer’s background and cover influential death penalty cases over the last four decades to see…
How Does Roberts Rate as a Chief Justice?
Sep 18, 2016 • 53 min
This week’s episode starts a series of episodes that will examine individual justices, including their background, their big cases, and one big question about them moving forward. This week covers Chief Justice Roberts, and specifically how…
Viva La Libert(arians)
Sep 11, 2016 • 53 min
This week’s episode covers a recent Supreme Court denial of an emergency petition by Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson to appear as “Libertarian” and not “Independent” on an Ohio voting ballot. Surprisingly enough, how you appear…
The Voting Rights Act: To Stay or Not to Stay
Sep 8, 2016 • 41 min
In what is hopefully the end of our discussion on the Voting Rights Act, Brett and Nazim take one more spin around North Carolina NCAAP v. McCrory to discuss what the most recent decision denying a stay of the 4th Circuit’s decision means both…
The Voting Rights Act: Life After Shelby County
Sep 4, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s episode is a good representation of why its difficult to cover current events in podcast form. Brett and Nazim begin by discussing the 4th Circuit decision in North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, which struck down a North Carolina law…
The Voting Rights Act: The Dunce Corner
Aug 28, 2016 • 55 min
In part one of a two part CLIFFHANGER (!!!), this week’s episode introduces the Voting Rights Act, and specifically how it created a dunce corner for States who could not be trusted to pass fair, non-racist voting laws. After the goodness of the…
Who is to Blame for Bush v. Gore?
Aug 21, 2016 • 60 min
This week’s episode takes us back to the year 2000 when all hell broke loose in the Presidential Election. Brett and Nazim dive deep into the Bush v. Gore case, including why the case came before the Supreme Court, the lower decisions that…
Revenge of the Public Defenders!!
Aug 17, 2016 • 37 min
This week’s mini-episode covers two State law issues that deal with victorious and/or spiteful Public Defenders, with the first being Delaware’s Death Penalty being declared unconstitutional after a case involving the PD’s office, and the second being…
Ranking Non-Bill of Rights Amendments, Part 2
Aug 14, 2016 • 59 min
This week’s episode continues the discussion from last week about non-BOR amendments, only this week is decidedly more positive. This week centers mostly on voting, equality, and taxes; and to liven things up, Brett and Nazim suggest fairly…
Ranking Non-Bill of Rights Amendments, Part 1
Aug 7, 2016 • 56 min
The non-Bill of Rights Amendments, 11 through 27, cover a host of different topics including government regulation, voting, and equality; and this week’s episode covers part one of our efforts to rank these amendments from the bottom up. The…
Season 2 Finale: Cases Not Selected and Term Summary
Jul 31, 2016 • 55 min
Planes are going down over ABQ, as this is the finale of Season 2 of the Citizen’s Guide to the Supreme Court. Much like last year, Brett and Nazim make podcast announcements, cover cases were cert. was denied, wrap up the historical value of…
SCOTUS Results Lightning Round
Jul 24, 2016 • 52 min
This week’s episode wraps up the 2015/2016 term, where Brett and Nazim almost come to blows over Spokeo v. Robbins, guess Thomas’ complaints with Green v. Brennan, share a laugh over Nichols v. US, vet out the appellate process over Welch v. US, and…
Affirmative Action and Strict Scrutiny
Jul 17, 2016 • 59 min
This week’s episode covers Fisher v. University of Texas, which held that UOT’s affirmative action program was in compliance with the Constitution and the Equal Protection clause. Brett and Nazim vet out how and why this program was able to pass…
Results in Beylund and Voisine
Jul 10, 2016 • 47 min
This week’s episode first covers Beylund v. North Dakota and Voisine v. U.S., two cases that deal with the viability of criminal statutes aimed at stopping drunk driving and preventing firearm possession by domestic violence offenders. Law…
What’s Next After U.S. v. Texas
Jul 6, 2016 • 30 min
In this mini-episode, Brett and Nazim spend 30 minutes breaking down a one-line order from the Supreme Court in the immigration case of U.S. v. Texas, including why there is no decision, what will/should happen next now that the Executive Order…
The State of Abortion after Whole Women’s Health
Jul 3, 2016 • 55 min
This week’s episode takes a deep dive into Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt, the case that invalidated a Texas law that set impossibly high medical standards on abortion clinics. Brett and Nazim discuss how/whether this case changed the undue…
Results in Strieff, Taylor, and Kirtsaeng
Jun 26, 2016 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers three big cases that were issued in the last week. Utah v. Strieff seemingly erodes the 4th amendment into a nub, U.S. v. Taylor seemingly destroys federalism, and Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons seemingly opens the…
Epilogue to Sunday’s Episode
Jun 23, 2016 • 29 min
Brett and Nazim had some extra time this week, so this episode serves as a supplement to last Sunday’s episode on non-SCOTUS decisions, which include the Connecticut assault rifle ban, Justice Thomas’ possible retirement, and the Net Neutrality…
The Citizen’s Guide to Lower Court Decisions
Jun 19, 2016 • 42 min
It’s been a boring week in the Supreme Court, so Brett and Nazim cover popular legal cases in lower Federal and State Courts, including the 9th Circuit concealed weapon decision, the Stanford Swimmer Judge controversy, the Google/Oracle slugfest, and…
EXPEDITED PODCAST: Sanchez Valle, Dietz, and Williams
Jun 15, 2016 • 49 min
This edition of the expedited podcast covers the recent decisions in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle (which held that double jeopardy applied to Puerto Rico), Dietz v. Bouldin (which held that a judge is allowed to call a jury back after releasing them),…
EXPEDITED PODCAST: Hawkes and Foster
Jun 12, 2016 • 27 min
We welcome Nazim back from vacation this episode, and to cover their butts for episodes recorded four weeks ago, Brett and Nazim cover U.S. Army Corps v. Hawkes (which was covered in the last episode on admin law) and Foster v. Chatman (which deals…
Why You Should Care About Administrative Law
Jun 12, 2016 • 56 min
Admin law gets a bad rap, because it’s generally boring and hard to understand, so Brett and Nazim take this week to expound on its many virtues, including what it is, how you can get involved it, and how Courts resolve issues with agency…
When Can The Govt Take Your Land?
Jun 5, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s episode covers the contentious topic of eminent domain, which is the when the government is permitted to use or take your Property. Brett and Nazim cover how that is done directly as seen in Kelo v. City of New London, and indirectly…
Civil Juries v. Criminal Juries
May 29, 2016 • 54 min
The purpose of this episode was to cover Dietz v. Boldin, which deals with whether or not a civil case should result in a mistrial when the jury was released momentarily before being brought back in by the judge; however, it soon became about a host…
Legal Analysis of the N.C. Bathroom Law
May 22, 2016 • 44 min
This week predicts how the Court would evaluate the North Carolina Bathroom law, and transgender rights in general, under the concepts of Substantive Due Process, Equal Protection and Vagueness. Brett and Nazim also discuss two circuit court…
EXPEDITED PODCAST: Zubik v. Burwell
May 17, 2016 • 24 min
Brett and Nazim gather on short notice to discuss the recent decision in Zubik v. Burwell, specifically what happens next, why this is the best outcome, and whether this would have been the decision had Scalia still been on the Court.
Beylund Oral Argument & Decisions in Patterson and Bank Markazi
May 15, 2016 • 55 min
What do drunk driving, getting fired for speaking your mind and terrorism have in common? In addition to being things that scare middle-class white people, each of these topics are the subject of this week’s episode, which takes a look at the…
The Legal Failings of Tom Brady & the Washington Redskins
May 8, 2016 • 55 min
This week’s episode covers complicated topics (labor unions & trademarks) through the prism of football (Tom Brady & the Washington Redskins). Brett and Nazim discuss Tom Brady’s 2nd Circuit appeal, Friedrichs v. California Teachers…
GUEST EP: Children’s Rights in the Legal System
May 3, 2016 • 63 min
This week’s guest Kim is an old law school friend of Brett andNazim, and a dedicated employee within family court and the childprotection system. Through that experience, Brett and Kimdiscuss Voisine v. U.S., Clark v. Ohio, V.L. v. E.L., and…
The Internet Killed the Copyright Star
May 1, 2016 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers the general nuances of copyright law, including how to get one, how to enforce one, and why the internet is killing all of them. Brett and Nazim also cover the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, in which the…
Judges, Immigration Oral Argument and Speedy Trial Rights.
Apr 24, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s episode is a hodgepodge of legal topics, including review of a judge’s ability to sue for Constitutional violations from the legislature, the unavoidable stalemate coming in U.S. v. Texas, and a review of speedy trial rights in sentencing…
All the Stupid Hobby Lobby Cases
Apr 17, 2016 • 56 min
This week’s episode on Zubik v. Burwell, the latest challenge to the Contraceptive Mandate under the First Amendment. In addition to discussing the original Hobby Lobby decision (again) and RFRA laws (again) and the Affordable Care Act (again),…
GUEST EP: Women’s Rights & Government Regulation
Apr 13, 2016 • 60 min
Brett is joined by his long-time friend Joanna, a female attorney working for the Government, to discuss government regulation in the field of public health. Brett and Joanna discuss Whole Women’s Health, Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual, Zubik v….
Results in Evenwell, Luis and Lockhart
Apr 10, 2016 • 49 min
A few cases have been decided that relate back to old episodes, so this week Brett and Nazim cycle back to Evenwell v. Abbott, the one person one vote case, Luis v. U.S., the Medicare fraud asset forfeiture case, and Lockhart v. U.S., the sex assault…
Who’s Afraid of the Big Biased Wolf?
Apr 3, 2016 • 48 min
This week’s episode is brought to you by the concept of bias, whether it be as a juror, a post-conviction judge, or a PA Supreme Court justice overturning a death penalty reprieve. Brett and Nazim discuss Williams v. Pennsylvania, in which the…
Hot News from Hot Dudes
Mar 27, 2016 • 48 min
This week’s podcast covers popular legal news stories currently in the media. Brett and Nazim first discuss the potential appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, take a soft right turn into the San Bernardino iPhone issue with the…
Nazim v. Federalism
Mar 20, 2016 • 49 min
This week’s episode covers three issues on federalism: (1) what it means for Kennedy to be pro-federalism and what other jurisdictional quirks belong to other justices (2) how Nazim responds to comments about his corrections to the Senate, and…
GUEST EP: Constitutional Amendments and Anti-Trust Law
Mar 15, 2016 • 66 min
Brett is joined by Joe V., an anti-trust attorney, a Harvard Law graduate, and all-around smart guy to discuss Constitutional issues and Antitrust law. Brett and Joe discuss how whether the evolution of the Second Amendment has hurt or helped…
Oral Arguments on Women’s Rights Cases
Mar 13, 2016 • 56 min
This week’s episode covers recent oral arguments in World Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt, which determines whether or not a Texas law that raised the standards for abortion clinics is liable under the undue burden test, and U.S. v. Voisine, which deals…
The Immigration Debate Comes to the Supreme Court
Mar 6, 2016 • 50 min
This week’s episode covers the case of U.S. v. Texas, which determines whether or not President Obama’s executive orders on immigration are Constitutional under the Take Care Clause of the Constitution. Brett and Nazim discuss the elements of…
GUEST EP: Historical Context of Current SCOTUS Cases
Mar 1, 2016 • 54 min
Part Two of the “Nazim is on Vacation” episodes continues with a conversation about history with Justin, one of the longest-listening fans of the Citizen’s Guide podcast. Brett and Justin discuss a little American history, and include specific…
GUEST EP: Ask a Public Defender, Part 1
Feb 28, 2016 • 49 min
While Nazim was on vacation, Brett interviewed his friend Ross, a Public Defender in a City ABC Networks have deemed “Murder Town”. Brett and Ross discuss what is like to be a Public Defender, how to properly eat pizza, U.S. v. Luis, and bank…
GUEST EP: Ask a Public Defender, Part 2
Feb 28, 2016 • 44 min
Brett and Ross continue their discussion about criminal cases before the Supreme Court, including Ocasio v. U.S., Lockhart v. U.S., Utah v. Strieff, & Beylund v. Minnesota. They also discuss the implications of Hurst v. Florida, and…
In Memoriam Justice Scalia
Feb 21, 2016 • 60 min
It is a somber episode of the podcast this week as Brett and Nazim discuss the past, present and future implications of the passing of Justice Scalia. This includes the positive and negative results from his originalist view of the Constitution…
One Person, One Vote
Feb 14, 2016 • 56 min
To celebrate Nazim’s return from vacation, this week’s podcast covers the “one person, one vote” case of Evenwell v. Abbott, where Brett and Nazim debate the age-old questions of “who cares?” and “what’s the point?”. To round things out, the…
Has California Killed Arbitration Clauses?
Feb 7, 2016 • 50 min
This week’s podcast covers the case of MNH Government Services v. Zaborowski, which determines whether or not mandatory arbitration clauses violate California laws on unconscionability. Brett and Nazim discuss how this case plays into contract…
What to Look for in a Presidential Candidate
Jan 31, 2016 • 59 min
This week Brett and Nazim take a break from reviewing individual SCOTUS cases in order to help you decide which bozo you should vote for president this November. Instead of giving specific suggestions or candidates, Brett and Nazim discuss the…
Big Changes Coming to DUI Law?
Jan 24, 2016 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers the cases of Bernard v. Minnesota, Beylund v. North Dakota, and Birchfield v. North Dakota, which deal with whether or not State statutes that punish a suspected drunk driver’s refusal to take a blood or breath test are…
Results in Hurst v. Florida + Making a Murderer + Listener Mail
Jan 17, 2016 • 55 min
This week’s episode starts with discussing the recent opinion in Hurst v. Florida, the case which considered whether the Florida Death Penalty procedure was Constitutional. After that, Brett and Nazim go through listener emails, which cover…
Double Jeopardy, Game Shows, and the Legal Status of Puerto Rico
Jan 10, 2016 • 50 min
The case of Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Vital has two primary issues, which involve whether the legal concept of Double Jeopardy applies to cases tried in Puerto Rico and whether or not Puerto Rico is a separate and distinct sovereign from the Federal…
When Can Employers Require Nudity?
Jan 3, 2016 • 57 min
Today we’re talking jobs, specifically why some jobs, like Hollywood shows like Game of Thrones, can require people to get naked while other jobs, like yours probably, is not allowed to make those requirements. Within the scope of employment…
What’s the Point of Batson Challenges?
Dec 27, 2015 • 49 min
The Christmas episode of the Citizen’s Guide to the Supreme Court takes a few detours before getting into Foster v. Chatman, including playing Price is Right with the Dean and Deluca catalog and talking about why Brett hates tiny airplanes. Once…
How Do You Solve A Problem like Scalia (and Mass Shootings)?
Dec 20, 2015 • 62 min
Welcome to the Second Annual Summit on Guns, where Brett and Nazim take a yearly look at the Court’s view on the Second Amendment and D.C. v. Heller. This episode is focused specifically on the rejected petition of Friedman v. City of Highland…
Breaking Down Bank Markazi v. Peterson
Dec 13, 2015 • 49 min
In 2012, Congress passed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act, which allowed the Plaintiffs in Bank Markazi v. Peterson to obtain Iranian funds held in New York to satisfy a judgment rendered in U.S. Courts. This action created a…
SCOTUS Lightning Round!!
Dec 6, 2015 • 50 min
There are a lot of cases and issues that fall through the cracks; so this week Brett and Nazim cover the following issues in timed intervals: Bill Simmons’ comment that Obama should be a Supreme Court Justice, Hurst v. Florida, Ke$ha, Gobeille…
One Year Anniversary Blooper Reel
Dec 6, 2015 • 9 min
To celebrate the one year anniversary of this podcast, Brett made a dance mix of all of the outtakes he saved over the last year for Nazim. Instead of hogging this present for the two of us, we figured we’d share it, even though it probably…
Affirmative Action and Higher Education
Nov 29, 2015 • 49 min
This week’s case is Fisher v. University of Texas, where a rejected applicant seeks to declare the school’s affirmative action program a violation of the Constitution and Equal Protection. In addition to the Supreme Court precedent that brought…
Consumer Protection Claims & the Concept of Standing
Nov 22, 2015 • 47 min
This week covers Spokeo v. Robbins, a case where one intrepid, mischaracterized plaintiff attempts to take down Big Credit Report under an poorly-written Congressional statute (stop us if you’ve heard this before). The key legal concept here is…
Michael Myers and the Juvenile Justice System
Nov 15, 2015 • 46 min
This week’s episode covers Montgomery v. Louisiana, which discusses whether or not a rule that bars automatic life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder should apply retroactively to a juvenile given life without parole 40 some…
The Seventh Circuit Has Gone Rogue
Nov 8, 2015 • 56 min
The Supreme Court’s review of Duncan v. Owens is a great example of a easy-sounding case that may have long lasting effects on how the Court views criminal law. Brett and Nazim talk about why the 7th Circuit granted habeas corpus seemingly out…
Everyting You Need to Know about Class Actions
Nov 1, 2015 • 52 min
In a vacuum, the issue in Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, which is whether or not a plaintiff can pursue a lawsuit after the defendant has fully settled the claim, sounds ridiculous. Although this seems like a straight forward answer, the added element…
When Can the Government Infringe on Free Speech
Oct 25, 2015 • 46 min
Free Speech is a many-faceted concept that usually results in the Supreme Court making impractical decisions on seemingly arbitrary law. This week, Brett and Nazim discuss the case of Heffernan v. City of Patterson, which talks about whether the…
The Many Exceptions to the 4th Amendment
Oct 18, 2015 • 46 min
This week’s podcast covers police searches under the 4th Amendment in two different regards. First, Brett and Nazim take a closer look at dog sniff searches and the 4th Amendment, and specifically whether dog sniffs are a flawed practice and…
How Does Criminal Law Punish Defendants?
Oct 11, 2015 • 45 min
This week’s episode about the criminal elements needed to convict someone is the converse to last week’s episode about Constitutional elements that protect criminal defendants. In addition to talking about how criminal law works at a fundamental…
Why Do We Give Constitutional Rights to Criminal Defendants?
Oct 4, 2015 • 50 min
This week’s episode is in response to an email we received in response to the “When Can Police Search Your Car Episode”, which addressed reasons why giving police too much discretion to invade privacy has practical consequences. Going off that…
The Present and Future of Abortion Cases
Sep 27, 2015 • 51 min
This week ends the three-part discussion on abortion and the Supreme Court, discussing cases that have shaped the Court’s undue burden test that evaluates State laws that attempt to regulate or embolden a woman’s right to choose. Brett and Nazim…
The Scope of Roe v. Wade
Sep 20, 2015 • 49 min
This week’s podcast attempts the inenviable task of discussing Roe v. Wade without upsetting anybody. This week covers Roe, Webster v. Planning Services, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey to outline what rights we have under the Constitution…
What is Substantive Due Process Exactly??
Sep 13, 2015 • 59 min
Your boys are back and discussing the wild world of substantive due process. After recounting their short break and sharing what vegetables they learned were gross in the last two weeks, Brett and Nazim begin a three-part discussion on…
Season Finale: Cases Not Selected and Superlatives
Aug 23, 2015 • 49 min
In the season finale of the 2014/15 term, Brett and Nazim discuss the cases that were not selected for the 2015/16 term and also go over some superlatives from the last year. To tide everyone over for the two week break, Brett and Nazim also…
With Great Power, Comes Justice Elena Kagan
Aug 16, 2015 • 46 min
We’re getting to the end of the relevant cases for the 2015 term, so this week ties up the loose ends that haven’t been covered so far. In particular, Brett and Nazim discuss Kimble v. Marvel, a case patent case by day that serves as an…
When Can the NFL Search Your Cell Phone?
Aug 9, 2015 • 42 min
This week’s episode takes a break from the seriousness of the Supreme Court to discuss the ridiculous and sublime details of the Tom Brady Federal Court case. Specifically, Brett and Nazim discuss what search and due process rights either side…
John Kerry v. the World!
Aug 2, 2015 • 46 min
This week’s episode covers two foreign policy cases that speak to broader issues about Substantive Due Process, Marriage and the President of the United States. Kerry v. Din discusses the Due Process rights of a person who is denied entry into…
When Can Police Search Your Car?
Jul 26, 2015 • 45 min
This week’s episode is all about controversial stances on long-held American Institutions. Brett and Nazim first take down BIG SANDWICH and then turn their attention to the Exclusionary Rule, the 4th Amendment stanards of probable cause &…
Is This Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?
Jul 19, 2015 • 41 min
In connection with the case of Mata v. Lynch, Brett and Nazim discuss how bad an attorney has to be to overturn a criminal conviction. Afterward, they play a game called “Is This Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?”, which discusses whether or…
Results in Arizona Districting Case & EPA v. Michigan
Jul 12, 2015 • 43 min
This week covers Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Districting Committee & EPA v. Michigan, which are two cases where the political result of both did not mesh with Brett and Nazim’s view of the legal rationale in the Court’s decisions. In…
Decisions in Obergefell and Glossip
Jul 5, 2015 • 48 min
This week’s episode covers the Court’s most recent decisions regarding same sex marriage and lethal injection. In both cases, Brett and Nazim discuss technical legal issues with the decisions and why it is not unreasonable to feel one way about…
Results in King v. Burwell and Texas Housing v. Inclusive Communities
Jun 28, 2015 • 45 min
This week’s episode covers King v Burwell, a case that saved Obamacare in America despite being almost completely incorrect from a strict statutory construction standpoint. King is also compared to the Texas Disparate Housing case and how both…
Decisions in Clark, Brumfield, and Sons of Confederate Veterans
Jun 21, 2015 • 58 min
In addition to discussing the decisions in Ohio v Clark, Brumfield v. Cain, and Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, Brett and Nazim discuss (1) which case would be worse to lose, Obamacare or Same Sex Marriage, (2) who won the Confrontation Clause…
Is Lethal Injection Unconstitutional?
Jun 14, 2015 • 40 min
Spoiler Alert! The answer is no. However, that did not stop the Court from hearing Glossip v. Gross, a case that determines whether or not a drug that sedates death row inmates before death violates the 8th Amendment to the…
Facebook, Abercrombie, and the Supreme Court
Jun 7, 2015 • 44 min
This week’s episode reviews the recent decisions of Elonis v. U.S. and Abercrombie & Fitch v. EEOC. Within this episode, Brett and Nazim talk about how the decisions were more limited than expected, but how that may be in the best interests…
Origins and Limits of the Supreme Court’s Power
May 31, 2015 • 35 min
It’s been a while since we’ve gotten into the background of the Supreme Court, so this week, Brett and Nazim discuss the self-imposed scope of the Supreme Court’s Power by way of a weird behind-the-scenes nuance of the San Francisco v. Sheehan case on…
Mortgage Foreclosure and Predatory Lending
May 24, 2015 • 37 min
This week’s podcast covers Jesinoski v. Countrywide Loans, a case that deals directly with the mortgage crisis of the mid-2000s. Brett and Nazim give background on the general topic of buying a house and why the Jesinoski case could give…
Money, Politics, and Free Speech
May 17, 2015 • 41 min
AKA, the Devil’s Threesome. This week, Brett and Nazim cover the case of Williams-Yullee v. Florida Bar, which decided whether restrictions on a Judge’s campaign donations were a violation of the First Amendment. This leads to a bigger…
Technical Aspects of the Death Penalty
May 10, 2015 • 42 min
Brett and Nazim discuss the technical side of the death penalty, including how it is administered, the jury requirements and why Nazim thinks it costs too much. The cases, Kansas v. Carr and Brumfield v. Cain, help show how the death penalty…
Same Sex Marriage Oral Argument
May 3, 2015 • 53 min
We’re running back the same sex marriage case to talk about the Oral Argument held on April 28, 2015. Brett and Nazim discuss the nuances of oral argument, who should be panicking based on the judge’s questions, and which N’Sync member can be…
The Importance of Jury Duty
Apr 26, 2015 • 44 min
Stop scoffing at that title. This week’s episode covers all aspects of the American Jury system, along with the current case of Warger v. Shauers, to help motivate you to celebrate, instead of cringe, when you receive your summons for jury…
Indiana RFRA: Fact or Fiction
Apr 19, 2015 • 48 min
The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a real law with history, scope, thoughts and feelings, and this episode gives that devil its due. Brett and Nazim address popular conclusions regarding the law to help shape ways to address the…
The Catch 22 of Free Speech
Apr 12, 2015 • 44 min
There is no good resolution to the case of Walker v. Sons of Confederate Soldiers. Whether you are a free speech advocate or someone who simply doesn’t appreciate images of slavery, the determination of whether or not Texas should allow…
Obamacare
Apr 5, 2015 • 55 min
Brett and Nazim discuss King v. Burwell, a dumb case based on dumb facts and dumb law that will probably have a dumb outcome. Making lemonade out of lemons, Nazim shares a wealth of great knowledge about the background and current state of the…
The Failures of Equal Protection
Mar 29, 2015 • 45 min
Like most great story arcs, our discussion into Equal Protection has a depressing epilogue. Through cases concerning equal protection and affirmative action, Brett and Nazim talk about how the Court’s rigid approach to Equal Protection has…
Same Sex Marriage & the Supreme Court
Mar 22, 2015 • 55 min
This week discusses the Supreme Court’s decision on whether a State can ban gay marriage. Brett & Nazim cover this history of gay rights in the Supreme Court (spoiler:its bad), and how the current court may decide the issue (spoiler:its…
How Does Equal Protection Work?
Mar 15, 2015 • 44 min
Brett and Nazim discuss the convoluted way that the Supreme Court evaluates Equal Protection Claims. In addition to walking through the three major tests used by the Court, the primary cases discussed involve why Virginia Military Academy could…
Equal Protection and Private Discrimination
Mar 8, 2015 • 43 min
Brett and Nazim start a three-part discussion on Equal Protection and the Gay Marriage decision this summer that begins with how the Constitution has used creative means to ban private discrimination in states and private businesses. The…
Mailbag and Updates - Part 2
Mar 1, 2015 • 40 min
Brett and Nazim continue to empty out the mailbag, discussing whether the Federal or State government could require mandatory vaccinations, the inner workings of the Supreme Court, and the difference between judicial interpretation of the law and…
Mailbag and Updates - Part 1
Feb 22, 2015 • 40 min
Brett and Nazim open up the listener mailbag to answer questions posed by listeners and update previous cases that have since been decided. The topics this week include Holt v. Hobbs, smart phone technology, why DUI checkpoints are acceptable…
The Consitutionality of Income Taxes
Feb 15, 2015 • 41 min
The thesis of this week’s episode is that taxes are nothing to be trifled with. First, Brett and Nazim discuss the many ways that citizens have failed trying to make income taxes unconstitutional. Afterward, Brett and Nazim discuss…
Child Abuse and the Confrontation Clause
Feb 8, 2015 • 46 min
This week’s episode covers Ohio v. Clark, which asks whether or not a teacher may testify on behalf of a three year old child who was the only witness to a child abuse case under the Confrontation Clause. This presents a good example of how the…
Grand Juries, Govt. Immunity and Police Use of Deadly Force
Feb 1, 2015 • 45 min
This week’s episode discusses the legal issues surrounding the police in Ferguson, MS and Staton Island, NY. The goal here was to take a strictly legal and objective overview of the issues in each case, specifically what a grand jury does, why…
4th Amendment Privacy and Smart Phones
Jan 25, 2015 • 44 min
This week handles a hypothetical only a paranoid conspiracy theorist could love. Through the lens of whether police could solve crimes by searching fingerprints given to access smart phones, Brett and Nazim discuss how the 4th amendment has…
Legalization of Marijuana
Jan 18, 2015 • 44 min
This week’s episode cover topics that include; but are not limited to, jury duty, learning when you hate your job, why cigarettes are awesome, federalism, standing, Bush v. Gore, and ultimately the legalization of marijuana. Brett and Nazim talk…
Facebook and Free Speech
Jan 11, 2015 • 44 min
Brett and Nazim discuss the case of Elonis v. U.S., which covers whether or not the Supreme Court will afford special protection to threatening statements made on Facebook and/or prosecute people who share pictures of food. That last part is a…
Hobby Lobby
Jan 4, 2015 • 51 min
Brett and Nazim break down one of the more controversial decisions of 2014, by discussing their initial thoughts on the case and then expanding on those thoughs after actually reading the decision for the first time.
D.C. v. Heller & Heien v. North Carolina
Dec 28, 2014 • 47 min
This week’s episode discusses two Supreme Court cases in the context of how Supreme Court cases move the needle with the general public. D.C. v. Heller deals with guns, the second amendment, and whether a State can ban the private ownership of…
Evolutionary v. Originalist Perspectives
Dec 21, 2014 • 44 min
Brett and Nazim discuss three important issues. (1) How to get to the Supreme Court. (2) The two main viewpoints of the Supreme Court. (3) Why the they do not passive agressively hate each other.
Supreme Court Name Game
Dec 9, 2014 • 34 min
Brett and Nazim revel in their professional failures and discuss the nine justices that make up the Supreme Court. To solve the problem of remembering their names, the two share an acronym that is easy to remember and objectively related to…