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Podcast by Institute for Justice

Podcast by Institute for Justice
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Podcast by Institute for Justice






Ep 6 - Procedural Due Process

Before the government can take away your life, liberty, or property, it must first give you due process: fair and meaningful procedure. On this episode, we trace the history of due process from 1215 to today. And we head to Harris County, Texas, which operates the the third-largest jail in the country, to see why federal courts say its system of money bail violated that ancient guarantee.


Ep 5 - Tangled: The Equal Protection Clause

After the Civil War, what many Americans needed most was protection from violence. That’s what the Equal Protection Clause was meant to guarantee, but today the Clause does entirely different work. On this episode: a tour of the history and meaning of the Clause and how African-style hair braiders use it today to protect their right to earn an honest living. For more resources:


Ep 4 - The Navigable Waters

In 1873, the Supreme Court said that the Privileges or Immunities Clause protects a right to “use the navigable waters of the United States”—and not much else. But in the nearly 150 years since, the Court has never examined what the right to use the navigable waters means in practice. On this episode: a pair of brothers from Stehekin, Washington, try to change that.


Ep 3 - All But Redacted: The Privileges or Immunities Clause

The Privileges or Immunities Clause was meant to be one of the key liberty-protecting provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Clause says: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” That sounds like a big deal, right? It’s not. The Clause has been virtually read out of the Constitution, and for people trying to vindicate their civil rights in court, it’s been of little practical use. That story—the near...


Ep 2 - The Fight for the Fourteenth

At the close of the Civil War, some 4 million slaves became free. But almost immediately after hostilities ceased, leaders in the ex-Confederate states began to impose a series of laws, the Black Codes, that re-instituted slavery in all but name. Just as swiftly, a wave of terrorist violence swept across the South, targeting blacks seeking education, economic independence, and a voice in civic and political life—and also whites with Union sympathies. In Washington, D.C., Republican leaders...


Ep 1 - Before the Fourteenth: John Rock and the Birth of Birthright Citizenship

Name just about any modern constitutional controversy—abortion, civil forfeiture, gun rights, immigration, etc.—and chances are that the Fourteenth Amendment is playing a big part. After all, if you are suing a state or local government under the federal constitution, you’re usually making a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. But you can’t fully appreciate the Amendment’s modern significance without delving into its origins. In Episode One, we do just that, but by way of a story you’ve...