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The Citizen's Guide to the Supreme Court

Brett and Nazim are two attorneys who hate being attorneys. In lieu of practicing law, they have instead developed a podcast to help make the Supreme Court more accessible to the average person. Each week, Brett and Nazim will discuss current Supreme Court cases and how they affect your daily life, while also ruminating on how their dreams of fame and fortune resulted in jokes about Star Wars and wondering how Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks about Facebook. This Podcast is for entertainment purposes only and is not legal advice. If anything you hear leads you to believe you need legal advice, please contact an attorney immediately.
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This podcast is for entertainment purposes only and is not legal advice.  If you hear anything that leads you to believe you need legal advice, please contact an attorney immediately.

Apr 15, 2018

This week's episode covers double jeopardy, a legal concept that should be easy, but technical legal rules have made complicated and kind of boring.  To that end(!!), Brett and Nazim spice up the case of Currier v. Virginia, where the Court has to determine whether a severed charge can be tried following an acquittal.  Law starts at (07:09), but before them Nazim talks about how he thinks he could be the Bachelor, sooooooooo skip at your own peril.

Apr 8, 2018

This week's episode tackles the wild and unpredictable world of Family Court, where everyone is nuts and there are no rules.  Brett and Nazim cover the case of Sveen v. Melin, where the Court is asked whether a revocation upon divorce statute automatically changes a life insurance beneficiary retroactively, or if people have to still do it themselves.  Law starts at (06:00).

Apr 1, 2018

This week's episode, which was intended to a brief discussion on Hughes v. U.S. to compensate for Brett's lost voice, quickly turned into a more substantive discussion on plurality opinions, sentencing guidelines and actual buffets.  So the title isn't really a joke, cuz like the last ten minutes is legit all about buffets.  The law starts at (03:36), but if you hate food talk, feel free to bail around the time Brett talks about eating oysters at the Chinese buffet.

Mar 25, 2018

First off, this week's episode covers the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocate v. Becerra, which decides whether or not a California Statute (the FACT Act) that requires specific disclosures of Reproductive Family Centers violates the First Amendment.  Brett and Nazim have a brief crash course on general abortion rights under the Constitution and then cover why the statute may end up a 1-1 tie.  Secondly, I think we did a really good job with the title of the podcast this week.  Law starts at (03:11).

Mar 18, 2018

This week is a total bummer, as Brett and Nazim cover two cases, Microsoft Corp. v. U.S. (dealing with the U.S. jurisdiction to seize digital assets overseas) and Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31 (aka the Unions)(dealing paying union dues when you're not the union), that depending on how you feel about privacy or organized labor could be a real downer.  Brett and Nazim look on the bright side of both cases, by either arguing why the good side should win or why it won't be a bad thing if they lose.  (Law at 5:20).

Mar 11, 2018

We're live from Brett's living room today, as Brett and Nazim go old school to explain why immigrants don't have bail hearings (Jennings v. Rodriguez), why Congress can decide cases for the Courts (Patchak v. Zinke), and why podcasters shouldn't eat while recording.  Law starts at (03:10).

Mar 4, 2018

This week's episode is covers a slew of recent decisions dealing with guilty pleas (Class v. U.S.), statutory interpretation (Digital Realty Trust v. Somers), and math (Murphy v. Smith).  Brett and Nazim discuss each decision and focus on whether or not the facts of the case matter when dealing with bad statutes.  Law starts at (03:22).

Feb 25, 2018

That's right folks!!  The Supreme Court is coming after your precious Amazon purchases, as the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. will decide whether adding State taxes to online purchases violates the Dormant Commerce Clause.  Brett and Nazim discuss Federalism and the DCC at length, brag about living in a State that will be unaffected by the whole ordeal, and sing a weird amount.  Law starts at (04:17).

Feb 18, 2018

This week Brett and Nazim are "peak Brett and Nazim", as the Brett crows about the Eagles winning the Super Bowl and Nazim discusses how to improve voting districts.  In addition to covering the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision which declared the district maps unconstitutional, the case of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky is also discussed, which covers whether statutes banning political apparel at voting stations violate the First Amendment.  The law technically starts at (06:48), but there's some turbulence until like the ten minute mark.

Feb 11, 2018

This week's episode welcomes back Nazim by covering recent decisions issued by the Court.  It's a banner week for Clarence Thomas, as in one case he ruins a house party (D.C. v. Wesby), and the other involves he discounts an incredibly racist juror affidavit (Tharpe v Sellers).  Law starts at (07:20).

Feb 4, 2018

Nazim's still on vaca, so Brett is joined by special guest Penni, who comes on to share background in Native American law in the United States, cover a specific case concerning tribal immunity (Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lungren), and try to breeze through two water rights cases (Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado & Florida v. Georgia).  Law starts at (12:36).

Jan 28, 2018

With Nazim on vacation, special guest Lindsey (@DCInbox) joins Brett to discuss cases that deal with voter disenfranchisement (Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute) and gerrymandering (Abbott v. Perez).  Law starts at (13:20) and Lindsey makes midterm predictions at the end.

Jan 21, 2018

This week's episode is all about mistakes, as lawyers and podcasters.  Brett and Nazim center this episode around McCoy v. Louisiana, which asks whether or not an attorney who concedes guilt during a First Degree Murder trial has violated his client's Constitutional right to an attorney.  This episode covers the standard for ineffective assistance of counsel, goes through a few examples, and even covers a short background on Louisiana law, but first and foremost, Brett and Nazim discuss probably the greatest listener comment we've received.  Law starts at (05:56).

Jan 14, 2018

"V" is the letter of the day today, as we are covering VOCABULARY this week on the Citizen's Guide to the Supreme Court.  Brett and Nazim cover three current cases which debate the meanings of statutory text, including Murphy v. Smith (how much is 25%?), Digital Realty Trust v. Somers (what is a whistle blower?), and SAS Institute v. Matal (what is a final written decision?).  Law starts at (04:25).

Jan 7, 2018

This week's episode covers the Fourth Amendment, and specifically why police officers should err on the side of getting a a warrant to avoid cases being taken to the Supreme Court.  Brett and Nazim cover Collins v. Virgnia and Byrd v. U.S. (starting at 19:20), but not before discussing the Constitutionality of anti-homeless legislation (starting at 5:47) and why the Benjamin Button movie sucks (that's from the jump, homie).

Dec 31, 2017

We're going back in time a bit this week to cover the cases of Sessions v. Dimaya and Jennings v. Rodriguez to discuss how Judge Neil's originalist sensibilities will impact two cases from last term that deal with immigration removal statutes.  Additionally, Brett laments the loss of Carson Wentz and predicts hell fire and brimstone if the Eagles win the Super Bowl.  Law starts at (04:42).

Dec 22, 2017

In this holiday mailbag episode, Brett and Nazim debate the Establishment Clause, answer listener questions, and talk about why eggnog is gross.  Happy holidays, and we will see you next Sunday.

Dec 17, 2017

This week's episode covers Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and specifically the oral arguments that took place a week ago and terrified everyone of the outcome.  Brett and Nazim take the approach of trying to find a compromise for this case that will (1) not invalidate all discrimination laws, and (2) not result in people ordering offensive cakes to prove a point.  It's a delicate balance that hopefully the Court will handle more efficiently.  Case in point, law starts at (03:04).

Dec 10, 2017

This week's episode covers the Alien Tort Statute and the current case of Jesner v. Arab Bank, which covers whether a corporations can be liable under said Alien Tort Statute.  Brett and Nazim also relish their Web 100 nomination by the ABA and discuss the appropriate amount of relishing one should do when reading about attorneys getting disciplined.  Law starts at (05:50).

Dec 3, 2017

This week's episode covers guilty pleas, from the practical (why the ubiquity of guilty pleas makes sense but mostly furthers the unfairness of the criminal justice system), to the theoretical (the current case of Class v. U.S., which broadly covers whether a guilty plea waives your right to challenge the Constitutionality of the underlying charge).  Law starts at (03:50).

Nov 22, 2017

To celebrate arguably the best holiday, Brett and Nazim take listener questions about who would be the worst judicial Thanksgiving Day guest, Presidential Turkey Pardons, and actual legal questions at the end.  Happy Thanksgiving; and otherwise, we will see you next week.

Nov 19, 2017

This week's episode covers Miranda Rights, from the ridiculous (the Louisiana Supreme Court holding that a defendant's request for a "lawyer, dog" was not an equivocal invocation of Miranda rights) to the sublime (City of Hayes v. Vogt in which a police officer's incriminating statements in a job interview were used against him in a pretrial hearing).  The law starts from the beginning, but Vogt specifically starts at (24:43).

Nov 12, 2017

This week's episode covers District of Columbia v. Wesby, a case that appears super interesting at a surface level (house-parties, cops, possible strippers), but is sort of boring a few meters deep (probable cause, qualified immunity, mens rea).  Brett and Nazim get into the details, but not before breaking out a 8 movie bracket to determine the best house party movie of all time.  Law starts at (03:40), House Party nonsense from (11:19-23:05).

Nov 5, 2017

This week's episode celebrates both Nazim's birthday and the death of American democracy.  Depending on how you feel about the Supreme Court and its inherent authority, the case of Gil v. Whitford could substantially impact politics and voting throughout the United States, or could be another missed opportunity by the Court to fix a systemic problem in our government.  Brett and Nazim discuss general gerrymandering issues, how this case will likely play out, and give Nazim a soapbox at the end to discuss why all districting is terrible.  Law starts from the beginning.

Oct 29, 2017

This week's episode celebrates everything that is terrible about gainful employment.  Brett and Nazim spend the first part of the episode disincentivizing you from wanting to become a lawyer by sharing stories about the profession, and then cover the case of NLRB v. Murphy's Oil (also Epic Systems v. Lewis & Ernst and Young v. Morris), which discuss whether the National Labor Relations Act supersedes the National Arbitration Act by providing a right to class actions for employees who sign mandatory employment arbitration agreements.  Case discuss starts at (13:08).

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