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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.

Mar 1, 2016

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 references to Bills of Attainder in the Bank Markazi v. Peterson case, the colonization of Puerto Rico in the Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Vital case, and how the Supreme Court views 19th Century Congressional grants of Native American land in the case of Nebraska v. Parker.  Special thanks to DJ Ray for the Serial-esque background music.

Feb 28, 2016

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 robbery movies.  This was split into two parts, so please listen to Part Two.

Feb 28, 2016

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 how Montgomery v. La may influence the upcoming case of Molina-Martinez v. U.S.

Feb 21, 2016

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 along with what President Obama can/should do in regard to the subsequent appointment.

Feb 14, 2016

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 result in Duncan v. Owens is examined, along with a longer-than-necessary conversation about bologna.

Feb 7, 2016

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 law and federal preemption, all continuing their transformation into a food podcast while eating dessert on the air.

Jan 31, 2016

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 jobs, authority, and powers held by the President under the Constitution and important Supreme Court case law to help you decide who to vote for based on what the President actually does.

Jan 24, 2016

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 constitutional under the 4th amendment.  Full disclosure, there's a good chance that if you are a 4th amendment advocate or an advocate of the Lord of the Rings, cupcakes, brunch, bacon, or pancakes, there's going to be something said here that annoys you, so bring on the emails.  We're not afraid of your criticism.

Jan 17, 2016

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 Wisconsin third-party liability evidence procedure, how much the 4th Amendment should coincide with how we feel about police, communist punitive damage theories, and why Civil Procedure is the worst class you can take in law school. 

Jan 10, 2016

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 Government.  By coincidence (!!we swear!!) the words "double jeopardy" led to more than one tangent about game shows, so get ready to also hear about Alex Trebek, Family Feud, and Elimidate.

Jan 3, 2016

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 law, Brett and Nazim discuss why Hooters get sued by its employees, the Steve Sarkisian/USC lawsuit,  and the current Supreme Court case of Green v. Brennan.

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

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.

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.

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.

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