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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.

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).

Jun 21, 2017

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.

Jun 18, 2017

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 Sessions v. Morales-Santana is also covered, which pairs an interesting discussion on intermediate scrutiny with a bummer ending that ruins it for everyone.  Law starts at (05:43), with a bad-ass Sam Neal/Michael Chrichton discussion around  (14:00).

Jun 11, 2017

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 (personal jurisdiction and Ginsburg/Sotomayor fighting), Laroe Estates v. City of Chester (intervention and standing), Bitchin' Camaros, Home Alone and Die Hard as Christmas movies, Honeycutt v. U.S. (joint and several liability in conspiracy convictions), Advocate Health Care v. Stapelton (ERISA coverage for church-affiliated business), and Nazim's harsh review of the Thomas the Tank Engine movie.  "Law" starts at (04:09), but its a bumpy ride.

Jun 4, 2017

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 gerrymandering as opposed to permissibly using political affiliation.    This week's episode also covers the movie The Hunger Games, a recent trilogy of movies that botched the third installment, of which Brett and Nazim ruin the ending.  Law starts at (04:41).

May 28, 2017

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) Presidential nepotism and conflict of interest laws, (30:53) double jeopardy and why you should register your car, (33:19) Equal Protection and free tuition residency requirements, (35:53) the Nobility Clause, (40:03) video game movies and partisan hi-jacking of the Supreme Court, (42:06) the future of admin law and Chevron, and (44:13) why you shouldn't go to law school.

May 21, 2017

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 problem of non-racist gerrymandering, and what we can take away from Roberts' short opinion disavowing any value from the dismissal.  The topical law above starts at (08:29), but Brett and Nazim also talk about how you can get arrested for laughing at Jeff Sessions starting at (0:57).

May 14, 2017

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 numerals) bans sexual orientation discrimination, and the second is Masterpiece Cakes v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a Colorado statute banning private sexual orientation discrimination violates the First Amendment.  Law starts at (08:40).

May 10, 2017

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 preexisting condition components implicate federalism and State's rights.

May 7, 2017

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, and (c) why San Francisco, Santa Clara, and other sanctuary cities benefited from poor document drafting in Trump v. Santa Clara.  Law starts at (04:01).

Apr 30, 2017

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 missing discussions on French politics and a special guest appearance by Nazim's wife Katya, who discusses some helpful men's fashion tips for the summer.

Apr 25, 2017

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.

Apr 23, 2017

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 procedure moves in class action lawsuits, and Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates (intervention standards when you hate your municipality).  Law starts at (05:32).

Apr 16, 2017

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 authority, trespasser liability, and somehow Ralph Nader.  Spoiler Alert, the law mostly favors the airline and the law starts at (15:40!), so lets be careful out there, folks!

Apr 9, 2017

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 nomination of Neil Gorsuch (the baby).  Law starts at (04:21).

Apr 2, 2017

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 general personal jurisdiction concepts, why law students are afraid of personal jurisdiction, and how all that comes together in the case of BNSF Railway Co. v Tyrell.  Law starts at (08:39).

Mar 26, 2017

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 defendant is entitled to an independent expert in a criminal case, but also perfectly sums out the contrary points in Brett and Nazim's criminal law jurisprudence.  Law starts at (06:06).

Mar 22, 2017

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.

Mar 19, 2017

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. U.S. (whether an appeal has to be amended if you want to appeal a subsequently determined monetary penalty) and Honeycutt v. U.S. (whether co-conspirators are jointly and severally liable for foreseeable profits from the conspiracy).  Law starts at (04:38).

Mar 12, 2017

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 hurdles, and why twenty feet in either direction make this case a lot easier to resolve.  The law starts at (09:30), but please start at (06:26) if you live in the Bay Area and don't want to hear about cool countries you can party in at age 19.

Mar 9, 2017

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 very specific listener feedback on a question entitled "Beef on beef?"

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