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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.

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).

Oct 22, 2017

This week's episode covers Carpenter v. U.S., which covers whether or not 4th Amendment protections apply to your cell phone records, so if you're a fan of privacy arguments, feeling paranoid about the government spying on you, the latter episodes of the Serial podcast, or new ways that the movie Scream has been made moot by technology, this episode is right in your wheelhouse.  Law starts at (03:34).

Oct 15, 2017

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 Powers, and Brett's gambling conspiracy theories.  It's not all nonsense by any means, but if you're hear just for New Jersey's terrible legal arguments, that starts at (25:36).

Oct 8, 2017

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 mostly old white people who are out of touch with the average person, or the other branch of government who's like basically the same thing.  Law starts at (04:06).

Oct 1, 2017

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 dramatic irony, discuss the term mootness and how the Travel Ban case may end up dismissed.  Law starts at (03:14).

Aug 27, 2017

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 fantasy league to get secrets on how to win next year (starting at 17:56), and finally take listener questions about the term in general (starting at 37:40).  Brett and Nazim are taking a short break, and will be back on October 1st.

Aug 20, 2017

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. basically none), and the likelihood that it happens to the current president (i.e. probably not).  Did that last line kill your buzz?  Sorry, dude. It'll be OK.  There's some jokes about bacon if that helps. Law starts at (02:35).

Aug 13, 2017

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) - How is Nazim/How you will know the podcast has ended.

(02:40-19:20) - Attorney check-in/What judges do/Brett and Nazim are bad restaurant employees

(19:20-end) - Lee v. U.S. (is a guilty plea reversible when the lawyer gives wrong info about deportation), Goodyear Tire & Rubber v. Heager (must attorney fee sanctions be causally related to the bad conduct) and Midland Funding v. Johnson (are time-barred filings in bankruptcy court a violation of the FDCA).

Aug 6, 2017

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 "liberal", and how the outcome of certain cases can reflect differently on the ideology that supports that outcome.  You won't believe it, but the law starts from the very beginning.

Aug 3, 2017

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.

Jul 30, 2017

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, Brett and Nazim try to figure out if the law has changed, and whether each decision could lead to ridiculous outcomes in the future.  Law starts at (01:24).

Jul 25, 2017

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.

Jul 23, 2017

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., which considered the materiality of falsehoods on an immigration application, and then (3) the case of Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute, a case for next term which considers whether Ohio can purge registered voters who fail to vote for six years.  Law starts at (03:54).

Jul 16, 2017

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 bottle, most recently with the Court's holding in Ziglar v. Abasi, which denied Guantanamo Bay detainees the right to sue government agents.  Brett and Nazim go through the history of Bivens claims and how the current Court has changed the original test.  Law starts generally from the beginning, but Bivens specific at (07:00).

Jul 9, 2017

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 (shooting across the Mexican border), and Los Angeles v. Mendez (shooting after not adequately announcing you were police).  Fantasy announcement starts at (03:05); Law starts at (07:37).

Jul 2, 2017

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 sift through the wreckage to determine if the amended stay of the Travel Ban is more harm than good, and whether Trinity Lutheran is a blatant Constitutional violation or just a sign of the times.  Law starts at (03:47).

Jun 27, 2017

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 balanced Court might affect Roe v. Wade.

Jun 25, 2017

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 Constitutional tests as they are about Alito and Kennedy telling each other to shut up.  Law starts at (04:12).

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