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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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Now displaying: 2015

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.

Dec 27, 2015

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 that's out of the way, Brett and Nazim discuss the merits of the Foster case and read emails from people within the criminal justice system about how effective the Court is at resolving racial discrimination in the selection of a jury.

Dec 20, 2015

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 Park, where the Court refused to hear a case contesting a ban on assault weapons.  In addition to discussing guns, Brett and Nazim also discuss Scalia's most recent comments on race and higher education.

Dec 13, 2015

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 host of issues which are dealt with in this week's episode, including why judgments are the most important part of every civil case, the Court's view on Separation of Powers issues, whether this is a Bill of Attainder and what is a Bill of Attainder. 

Dec 6, 2015

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 v. Liberty Mutual, the future president's views on gun rights, France's ban on head scarves, Alabama's refusal to admit certain kinds of immigrants, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, the confidentiality of prisoner emails, and Tyson Foods v. Bouaphekeo.

Dec 6, 2015

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 doesn't make sense to anyone but us.  Either way, enjoy and thanks for listening.

Nov 29, 2015

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 us here, Brett and Nazim also discuss their own experiences applying for law school and how they ended up at the same place at the same time.

Nov 22, 2015

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 Standing, which covers who can bring claims in our judicial system, and Brett and Nazim use an example which deals directly with someone's poor spelling.

Nov 15, 2015

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 odd years ago.  Brett and Nazim also discuss the differences between the juvenile justice system and the adult juvenile justice system, and whether or not the moral considerations of the Halloween sequels will influence the decisions of the Court.

Nov 8, 2015

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 of no where and why this case could be a martyr for broader change.

Nov 1, 2015

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 of class action makes this case a rich topic for this week's episode, where Brett and Nazim discuss how to file a class action, why class actions exist, and what you should do with the class action notices you get in the mail.

Oct 25, 2015

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 Government can discipline you at work when they think you are engaged in free speech, but you argue that you are not.  That is, until lawyers get involved, and then argue that you are engaged in free speech and the government argues that you are not.

Oct 18, 2015

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 what could be done if they are.  Then the case of Utah v. Strieff is covered, where the Court decides whether or not an officer who makes an illegal search is excused when the defendant had an arrest warrant and therefore could have been searched had the officer known about it, which could open the door for the bizarro "bad faith exception".

Oct 11, 2015

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 level, Brett and Nazim also cover inchoate crimes, why learning about criminal law is boring, why How to Get Away With Murder on ABC sucks, Ocasio v. U.S., how Madden gets harder as you get older, Lockhart v. US, and habitual offender statutes.

Oct 4, 2015

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 point, Brett and Nazim explain why the criminal justice system has significant punishments against the State when a person's Constitutional rights are violated, and use the cases of Arizona v. Youngblood, a current case before the Supreme Court Luis v. U.S., and a recent incident with the Delaware crime lab to show how the law forces the Court to decide between letting guilty people go free to protect against imprisoning innocent people.

Sep 27, 2015

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 also discuss two cases which will likely go before the Supreme Court this term, which deal with a continuation of the Hobby Lobby decision and heightened regulations for clinics performing abortion services.

Sep 20, 2015

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 following the cases and under what grounds the Supreme Court tied abortion in to the Constituion.  If that all seems to dark for you, we also propose a Supreme Court fantasy league for the upcoming term and Nazim explains why he likes people posting pictures of food on social media.

Sep 13, 2015

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 substantive due process, abortion, and Roe v. Wade.  This week covers the background of the right to privacy we have in the Constitution, even though those words are not actually written anywhere.

Aug 23, 2015

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 discuss dinosaurs, tattoos, rap icons, LOST, and being old. 

The Citizens Guide to the Supreme Court will be back on September 13, 2015.

Aug 16, 2015

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 interesting comment about precedent by night.  The case of Bullard v. Blue Hill Banik is also covered along with a general overview about what happens in bankruptcy proceedings.

Aug 9, 2015

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 has in this situation and what chances Tom Brady has of getting an injunction granted.  To ensure that this episode is free of any bias, Nazim is qualified as a person who knows very little about football and Brett keeps his hatred for all football teams that are not the Philadelphia Eagles at a simmer until the very end.

Aug 2, 2015

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 the United States and Zivotsky v. Kerry addresses whether or not Congress or the President can recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  While both cases are important in their own right, Dinn presents an interesting foreshadowing into the Same Sex Marriage decisions and Zivotsky allows Brett to trick Nazim into supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Jul 26, 2015

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 & reasonable suspicion, and finally the balance between personal property & the need to fight crime.  Through the cases of Rodriguez v. U.S. and California v. Navarette, Brett and Nazim come full circle from ambitious, liberal law students to grumpy old men.

Jul 19, 2015

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 not bad-mouthing your client to a jury or falling asleep during trial warrants a new trial for criminal defendants.

Jul 12, 2015

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 addition, Brett and Nazim play a spirited game of F@#$, Marry, Kill with American pasttimes and figure out what "Naziming" is.

Jul 5, 2015

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 the result but still question certain Constitutional elements in the legal reasoning.   Brett and Nazim also ask deep, insightful questions about Bigfoot, which is the next big issue our Nation needs to tackle.

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