Constitutional Context-logo

Constitutional Context

Education Podcasts >

More Information

Location:

United States

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 35 – On Justice Appointments, A Largely Silent Constitution

9/12/2018
More
Events surrounding the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court illustrates how, on matters of Supreme Court nomination and confirmation, the U.S. Constitution is largely missing in action. To begin with, the Framers provided no minimal qualifications for who could serve as a Justice. As school kids learn, […]

Duration:00:05:43

Episode 34 – A Tough Roe? Pt. 2

9/12/2018
More
So…having set the stage in Part One for the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, here’s the skinny on how Roe narrowly escaped: Justice Sandra O’Connor defied expectations by joining two other presumably anti-Roe justices to form a trio affirming its “central rule” that a pregnant woman […]

Duration:00:05:43

Episode 33 – A Tough Roe? Pt. 1

9/12/2018
More
One of (if not THE) most controversial aspects of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy is what Kavanaugh’s elevation could mean for the modern scheme of abortion rights ushered in by the landmark 1973 case, Roe v. Wade. President Trump’s promise to “put[ ] pro-life justices on the Court” has led many […]

Duration:00:05:28

Episode 32 – Decisions, Please!

5/30/2018
More
In less than a month, the Supreme Court’s 2017-2018 Term will end – in a flurry of high-profile, controversial and contentious decisions. Still undecided cases when this podcast was recorded probe the constitutionality of the Trump Administration Travel ban, the legitimacy of a baker declining on religious grounds to make a specialty cake to celebrate […]

Duration:00:05:58

Episode 31 – Wanna Bet?

5/30/2018
More
The Court’s mid-May decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association got substantial news coverage because of the outcome. A six-justice majority in Murphy invalidated the 1990’s Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which had prevented state and local governments from operating sports-betting schemes or authorizing private casinos and individuals to do so. No wonder, […]

Duration:00:05:55

Episode 30 – It’s Not Just Politics

5/1/2018
More
If you follow Supreme Court decision-making – and, after all, if you listen to this podcast – you’ve probably noticed the tendency of Supreme Court watchers, whether they are highly respected reporters or less thoughtful armchair pundits, to portray decisions as simple battles between “conservatives” and “liberals.” Yet, attributing Supreme Court decision-making to just politics […]

Duration:00:05:57

Episode 29 – They Say Jump…

3/26/2018
More
Lawyers and laypersons alike can fall into the habit of thinking that, once the Supreme Court rules on the meaning and application of the Constitution, that settles the matter. Sure, we remember President Eisenhower having to send national-guard troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce a school desegregation order. And we know that some state […]

Duration:00:05:32

Episode 28 – Guns, Young Adults & The Constitution

3/26/2018
More
The tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida shined a bright spotlight on the fact that 18-, 19- & 20-year olds can buy assault weapons in many states, even though they can’t purchase alcohol and exercise other privileges. Bills to raise the minimum-age for some weapons purchases are being seriously discussed nationally and in many states. […]

Duration:00:05:24

Episode 27 – A Dissenting Voice on Gun Rights

2/27/2018
More
Last month, while many Americans were agonized and outraged over students killed and injured by an automatic-weapon-toting shooter at a Parkland, Florida high school, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did something only a life-tenured jurist who doesn’t have to run for reelection could do – complain about too much gun control! Thomas’ February 20th statement […]

Duration:00:05:17

Episode 26 – Compelled to Speak

2/27/2018
More
It’s not unusual that this Supreme Court Term has several cases about First Amendment protection for freedom of speech. What IS unusual is that not one, not two, but three cases on the docket relate to a specialized, and somewhat obscure corner of Free Speech jurisprudence. I refer to the “Compelled Speech doctrine” – […]

Duration:00:05:42

Episode 25 – Arbitrary & Capricious

1/29/2018
More
If you followed the news on January 9th — and I KNOW that this podcast’s listeners are very well informed! — you know that Northern-California-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued a preliminary injunction ordering the Trump Administration to revive the DACA program (the Obama-era scheme of deferred deportation for the “Dreamers”). The program was […]

Duration:00:05:50

Episode 24 – Federalism Fights Pt 3

1/29/2018
More
Having devoted both of last month’s podcasts to aspects of “Federalism,” I certainly didn’t plan on returning to the subject so soon. But a podcast committed to how the latest controversies showcase the context behind key constitutional dynamics just can’t pass up the teaching moment afforded by Attorney General Sessions’ recent announcement that the Trump […]

Duration:00:05:43

Episode 23 – Federalism Fights Pt 2: Is it “Commandeering”?

1/3/2018
More
The first Part of this month’s podcast explained the ongoing challenge posed by the Framers’ decision to make “federalism” a key pillar of the constitutional system they pioneered almost 240 years ago. That podcast noted that, as in many recent-past years, the current Supreme Court Term features a federalism issue prominently on its docket. The […]

Duration:00:05:25

Episode 22 – Federalism Fights Pt 1

1/3/2018
More
Do your ever stop to think about how many of your life activities are affected by laws passed and legal decisions rendered by officials of your STATE government? Whether we’re aware of it or not, it is state law – not national law – that provides the majority of the legal constraints and opportunities we […]

Duration:00:05:15

Episode 21 – Location, Location, Location

12/4/2017
More
If you’re like most Americans, during the Thanksgiving holidays you made cellphone calls to relatives and friends, sent lots of email good wishes, and accessed websites for Cyber Monday online shopping. So here’s a question: While doing that did you think that, by voluntarily disclosing your location, telephone numbers, email addresses and personal financial information […]

Duration:00:05:31

Episode 20 – Taxes and the “Least Dangerous Branch”

12/4/2017
More
Hearing so much discussion about what if any tax bill Congress will pass and how the Administration is affecting tax-policy deliberations reminds me of an eternal verity about the federal judiciary – namely, that Supreme Court justices and lower federal judges do not play a comparably significant or primary role in setting tax policy. For […]

Duration:00:05:41

Episode 19 – Taking (Up) the Cake (Case)

11/6/2017
More
On Tuesday, December 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in one of the most high-profile cases of its Term. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is sure to trigger substantial news coverage and strong opinions. This podcast instead focuses on the case as a textbook example of three important realities about […]

Duration:00:05:42

Episode 18 – Taking a Knee and “The First Amendment”

11/3/2017
More
You probably don’t need reminding about the controversy swirling around NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem to protest mistreatment of racial minorities. The dispute has been a regular subject in speeches and tweets by the President. It’s been prominent on news, sports, and talk shows. What I find especially interesting as a […]

Duration:00:05:15

Episode 17 – The Tenth Justice?

9/28/2017
More
The U.S. Senate recently confirmed President Trump’s choice to become Solicitor General of the United States. This reminded me of how important and interesting this position is to the Supreme Court and the adjudication of constitutional and other questions. The U.S. Solicitor General is the 3rd-highest official in the Justice Department and is expected to […]

Duration:00:05:42

Episode 16 – A First Monday Week Firecracker!

9/26/2017
More
Happy “First Monday in October!” — the day the Supreme Court comes back from summer recess and begins oral arguments and case decisions through next June. This Term the Supreme Court is jumping right into its work. The day after “First Monday,” the justices are confronting one of the most consequential and long-delayed questions in […]

Duration:00:05:34