Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, justice, and the courts


A show about the law and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America.


United States




A show about the law and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America.




Absolutely No One Is Happy With the Dobbs Leak Investigation

First, there was the Dobbs case. Then there was the leaked opinion in the Dobbs case. Then there was the investigation into the leaked opinion in the Dobbs case. Then there was the report on the investigation into the leak. Then there was the supplemental report from the Marshal on the report on the investigation into the leak. AND THEN there was the revealing reporting from the NY Times’ Jodi Kantor on a court roiled by reports and investigating and leaks. This week, Dahlia Lithwick is...


The Labor Case Before SCOTUS Has Big Implications for Democracy

Amicus is sponsored by Betterhelp. The Supreme Court of the United States got back into the swing of things its first week back after New Years, with a case about cement workers and the rights of organized labor. The “swing” the court was getting “back into” with this case was potential precedent-busting. Dahlia Lithwick is joined on this week’s show by Terri Gerstein, director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at Harvard Law School’s Center for Labor and a Just Economy, to discuss...


Why are We Still Obsessed with Roe v Wade?

For some, 2022 was the year Roe v Wade was overturned. For millions more, abortions rights had been functionally inaccessible for decades. Beyond shaky precedent, Roe was a vessel into which America threw all sorts of hopes, beliefs and fears. But how did this legal decision become a symbol of so much? On this week’s show, host Dahlia Lithwick is joined by abortion law expert Mary Ziegler, who’s new book, Roe: The History of a National Obsession, tries to find the roots of Roe’s incessant...


“Is This How We Do Law Now?”

The highest court in the land has ignored the need for standing, the trial record, and of course precedent this past year––and it matters. Host Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Sherrilyn Ifill, former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation. They discuss Sherrilyn’s thought-provoking piece this month in the New York Review of Books, which opens out into a big-picture discussion of what this Supreme Court’s...


The Blockbuster Case You Probably Haven’t Heard About

When Christian conservatives lost in Masterpiece Cake Shop back in 2018, they regrouped and picked up the trail of breadcrumbs from Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissent that suggested a freedom of speech approach. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in 303 Creative v Elenis - another case that takes aim at Colorado’s anti discrimination laws. This time, arguments about whether a website designer has the right to advertise that she will not design websites for same-sex weddings, will...


Religious Liberty and the Right to Vacation in Jackson Hole

When the New York Times built on previous reporting in Politico and Rolling Stone about an evangelical christian ministry that sought to sell access to and influence Supreme Court Justices with fancy dinners and donations, the Hobby Lobby leak dominated the headlines. But there is so much more to this story. To discuss how the headlines fit into a larger narrative of dark money and a captured court, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Senator Whitehouse...


When You Take Away the Kids, You Take Away the Future

“A Kitchen Sink Approach to Constitutional Claims” On this week’s Amicus, - the case that threatens the Indian Child Welfare Act, but also threatens domino effects on tribal sovereignty and land rights. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Rebecca Nagle, a Cherokee writer, advocate & language learner. Nagle is host of This Land podcast. Season 2 of the podcast was a deep and broad investigation into the background of the case at hand. Maggie Blackhawk also lends her expertise to the discussion,...


Affirmative Action on the Chopping Block

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Professor Cara McClellan, former counsel at NAACP LDF, and founding Director of the Advocacy for Racial and Civil Justice Clinic, at University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Professor McClellan takes us through an extensive trial record largely ignored in oral arguments at SCOTUS this past week. Then, Dahlia is joined by David Rothkopf whose book, American Resistance: The inside story of how the deep state saved the nation, details the folks who stuck around...


The Supreme Court Case that Could Upend Democracy

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Judge Michael Luttig for the definitive conversation on a giant elections case now on the calendar at the Supreme Court. Moore v Harper is a North Carolina redistricting case that is also a vehicle for the Independent State Legislature Theory - a so-called doctrine that could radically re-order democracy in America. Judge Luttig - a stalwart of conservative legal circles for decades - will argue the case as co-counsel alongside former Acting Solicitor General...


Bonus: Time to Celebrate Some Wins

Dahlia Lithwick is on the road with Amicus and Lady Justice. In this bonus episode, she’s joined by Loyola Law Professor, legal commentator and columnist Jessica Levinson for a conversation about what we can learn from the women lawyers who held the line during the Trump years, and how to respond to the steady drum beat of “Lock Her Up” threatening women around America today. The conversation is available in full for Slate Plus members. Dahlia’s new book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the...


Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Gives SCOTUS a History Lesson

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by two key players from this week’s consequential voting rights cases at the US Supreme Court. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s senior counsel Deuel Ross argued part of Merrill v Milligan at the High Court on Tuesday, and Evan Milligan of Alabama Forward is the named plaintiff in one of a pair of cases that argued that Alabama’s congressional maps are racially gerrymandered in violation of Section II of the Voting Rights Act. They take listeners inside...


A Hair-Raising SCOTUS Curtain-Raiser

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern and Jay Willis of Balls and Strikes for a preview of the big cases headed our way this Supreme Court term. They tackle cases concerning voting rights, indigenous rights, environmental protection and affirmative action, before turning their attention to the tricky business of covering a court that is radically changed and how the traditionally deferential Supreme Court press corps needs to update its methods and reporting in response....


Listen to Lady Justice

Dahlia Lithwick’s new book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, tells the story of the women lawyers who stood up to Trump and stood up for those unseen and unrepresented by a brutal presidency, and the stories of the women who will fight on in the wake of life-altering decisions from a radicalized Supreme Court. Lady Justice is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25% discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout....


The Sound of Worms Turning

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Mark Joseph Stern for a romp through the jurisprudential headlines. It’s been a week. Highlights include: Donald Trump’s legal woes in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation, and at the hands of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil suit. Then, we’re live at Politics and Prose in Washington DC, with a conversation between Dahlia Lithwick and Professor Michele Goodwin about women, the law and the rule of law. They discuss Dahlia’s new book Lady...


Lady Justice and Charlottesville Nazis

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Roberta Kaplan, who along with co-counsel Karen Dunn brought a successful civil suit against twenty-four neo-Nazi and white supremacist leaders responsible for organizing the racial- and religious-based violence in Charlottesville in August 2017. They discuss how the KKK Act of 1871 applied to discord channels and now January 6th defendants. And they explore the complicated relationship women find themselves in with the law in this moment, as defenders of rights...


The Law v Lawless Edition

Dahlia is joined by Mary Trump and Norm Ornstein to discuss how a single Trump-appointed judge’s attempt to stick a fork in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into potential mishandling of classified materials is part of a systemic story about American justice. And they discuss the kinds of reform needed to protect democracy and repair the judiciary. And how to handle our collective trauma so we can get it all done. In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Mark...


The Clash Between Privacy and Freedom of the Press

Law Professor and former journalist Amy Gajda joins Dahlia Lithwick to discuss her latest book, Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy. They chart a course through early conceptions of privacy to today’s fraught battles over privacy and dignity in the age of surveillance capitalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Judge Victoria Pratt’s “The Power of Dignity”

The quality of dignity is not strained. Judge Victoria Pratt presided for years over Municipal Court in Newark, New Jersey. Her experiences form the foundation of her book, The Power of Dignity: How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our Communities. In the third of Amicus’ summer season of big-picture conversations, Dahlia Lithwick and Judge Pratt explore what everyone, up to and including Supreme Court Justices, can learn from procedural justice, also known as procedural fairness. You can watch...


What the Dobbs Decision Means to Me

In the second of Amicus’ Summer Series of interviews that step out of the day to day of jurisprudence to look at justice and the Supreme Court through a wide-angle lens, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by actor and playwright Heidi Schreck. Schreck created and starred in the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award - nominated “What the Constitution Means to Me” and is a fierce advocate for abortion rights. Together, they try to locate the spot at the intersection of politics, law, culture, media and art...


Eric Holder's Supreme Court Protest

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by former Attorney General Eric Holder as Amicus begins its summer season while the Supreme Court is in recess. General Holder describes his feelings when, as President Barack Obama’s Attorney General, he realized he could not in good conscience take part in the long-held tradition of the AG arguing an “easy case” before the Supreme Court. The issue? That same court had just eviscerated the Voting Rights Act in a case that will forever bear his name: Shelby County v...