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Bound By Oath by IJ

News & Politics Podcasts

Bound by Oath is a podcast series from the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice. It’s where the Constitution’s past catches up with the present. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution requires every judge to be “bound by Oath” to uphold “this Constitution.” But to understand if judges are following that oath, it’s important to ask, “What is in ‘this Constitution’?” Your host John Ross takes a deep dive into the Constitution’s text, history, and characters, and interviews historians, legal scholars, and the real people involved in historic and contemporary cases.

Location:

United States

Description:

Bound by Oath is a podcast series from the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice. It’s where the Constitution’s past catches up with the present. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution requires every judge to be “bound by Oath” to uphold “this Constitution.” But to understand if judges are following that oath, it’s important to ask, “What is in ‘this Constitution’?” Your host John Ross takes a deep dive into the Constitution’s text, history, and characters, and interviews historians, legal scholars, and the real people involved in historic and contemporary cases.

Language:

English

Contact:

7036829320


Episodes

A Pig in a Parlor | Season 3, Ep. 4

2/16/2024
In 1926, in the case of Euclid v. Ambler, the Supreme Court upheld zoning, giving elected officials and city planners vast, new, and largely unchecked power to tell people what they can and cannot do with their own private property. On this episode: the story of the lawsuit that changed everything for American property rights plus the personalities who made it happen. Click here for episode transcript. Euclid v. Ambler (Supreme Court opinion) Ambler v. Euclid (district court opinion) Nectow v. Cambridge

Duration:00:53:10

A Lost World | Season 3, Ep. 3

1/19/2024
On Episode 3, we journey back to a lost world: the world before zoning. And we take a look at a trio of historic property rights cases. In In re Lee Sing, San Francisco officials tried to wipe Chinatown off the map. In Buchanan v. Warley, Louisville, Ky. officials mapped out where in the city residents were allowed to live based on their race. And in Hadacheck v. Sebastian, a Los Angeles city councilman sought to use the police power to protect his real estate investments. Click here for transcript.

Duration:00:36:44

Groping in a Fog | Season 3, Ep. 2

12/21/2023
In 1922, Scranton, Pennsylvania was said to be on the verge of collapsing into the vast coal mines beneath the city; residents, buildings, and streets alike were being swallowed up by “suddenly yawning chasms.” State legislators responded by unanimously passing a law meant to save the region, where about a million people lived, from total desolation. But when the law reached the Supreme Court, the justices struck it down, ruling that it would be an unconstitutional “regulatory taking” to force coal companies to leave their coal in the ground. On this episode, we go to nearby Pittston, Pennsylvania to find out what happened to the house at the center of the case. Did it—or Scranton—fall into the pits? After that, we trace the major developments in regulatory takings doctrine, which protect against regulations that go “too far.” But we wind up in a bit of a fog. Plus! This episode will have an unsolved murder—and some Supreme Court trivia: did you know a future Supreme Court justice argued the case on behalf of Scranton (at least in state court)? Click here for transcript.

Duration:01:12:06

Mr. Thornton’s Woods | Season 3, Ep. 1

12/8/2023
In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment's protections against warrantless searches do not apply to "open fields." Which means that government agents can jump over fences, ignore No Trespassing signs, and roam private land at will. There are no limits. On this episode, we talk to Richard and Linda Thornton, whose property in rural Maine was at the center of the case. And we ask: Can the Founders really have thought the Constitution did not protect private woods, fields, farms, and more from warrantless invasions? Click here for transcript.

Duration:01:06:18

Season 3 Teaser

11/20/2023
Season 3 of Bound By Oath is coming soon! Click here for transcript.

Duration:00:03:28

State Remedies | SEASON 2, EP. 11

3/16/2022
With the doors to federal court closing on civil rights claims, this final episode of Season 2 heads to new terrain: state court. Click here for transcript. Click here for Episode 1.

Duration:01:32:03

Prosecutors, Perjurers, and Other Non-Persons — Part 2 | Season 2, Ep. 10

11/10/2021
In 1983, in the case of Briscoe v. LaHue, the Supreme Court ruled that government employees who commit perjury at trial are absolutely immune from civil liability. On Part 2 of Episode 10, we dig into the Court’s reasoning and the backstory behind Briscoe. We also discuss a special category of officials whom the Supreme Court has said are not entitled to absolute immunity, but to whom lower courts have granted immunity anyway. Click here for transcript. Click here for Episode 1. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher. The post Prosecutors, Perjurers, and Other Non-Persons — Part 2 | Season 2, Ep. 10 appeared first on Institute for Justice.

Duration:00:46:00

Prosecutors, Perjurers, and Other Non-Persons — Part 1 | Season 2, Ep. 10

11/5/2021
In 2005, Charles Rehberg annoyed some politically powerful people in his community of Albany, Georgia, and found himself facing serious criminal charges—charges that were completely made up by a rogue prosecutor and could only be sustained because an investigator committed perjury. In Episode 10, we explore the case of Rehberg v. Paulk, which reached the Supreme Court in 2012. On Part 1 of Episode 10: the doctrine of absolute prosecutorial immunity, where it came from, and why the Supreme Court thinks it’s a good idea. Click here for transcript. Click here for Episode 1. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher. The post Prosecutors, Perjurers, and Other Non-Persons — Part 1 | Season 2, Ep. 10 appeared first on Institute for Justice.

Duration:00:59:01

Closing the Courthouse Doors | Season 2, Ep. 9

9/1/2021
On this episode, we take stock of developments in the courts and in Congress since this season began. There's an update on the first case we talked about this season, Brownback v. King. We talk about exciting new cases that the Supreme Court is being asked to take up. Plus, some recent decisions in the lower courts that mean that federal officials are functionally—if not by name—entitled to absolute immunity from constitutional claims in D.C., Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Click here for transcript. Click here for Episode 1. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Amazon Music.

Duration:00:56:51

Persons Who Are Not “Persons” | Season 2, Ep. 8

8/13/2021
Section 1983 says that "every person" acting under color of state law shall be liable for violating the Constitution. But in 1951, the Supreme Court began to rule that some officials weren't "persons" within the meaning of Section 1983 and that those officials thus enjoy absolute immunity—no matter how malicious, corrupt, or unconstitutional their conduct may be. On Episode 8, we examine absolute immunity for legislators and judges. Click here for transcript. Click here for Episode 1. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:01:02:25

The Shooting of Bobby Moore — Part 2 | Season 2, Ep. 7

6/21/2021
In 1978, the Supreme Court held that individuals can sue local governments for constitutional violations in federal court. Indeed, the Court held that Congress had always intended for such suits to be available — ever since it passed the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. However, the standard that the Court says plaintiffs must meet to get their municipal liability claims before a jury is exceedingly high, and getting higher. On Part 2 of our episode on municipal liability under Section 1983, we find out if Sylvia Perkins mustered enough evidence of dysfunction at the Little Rock Police Department to get her day in court against the city. Click here for transcript. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Please click here to learn more about friend-of-the-podcast Coleman Watson's stroke and recovery.

Duration:01:01:33

The Shooting of Bobby Moore — Part 1 | Season 2, Ep. 7

6/18/2021
In 2012, Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings shot and killed 15-year-old Bobby Moore and lied about how it happened. Hastings had a long history of untruthfulness and so did many of the officers who trained him and supervised him. And the Little Rock Police Department had a history of turning a blind eye to excessive force by its officers. So when Bobby's mother sued over his death, she didn't just sue Josh Hastings. She also sued the City of Little Rock. But could she? On this episode, the first half of a two-part exploration into municipal liability under Section 1983. Click here for transcript. Click here for Part 2. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher. From the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship: Shop in Place Chicago and Yohance Lacour.

Duration:00:44:36

Pierson to Pearson | Season 2, Ep. 6

4/5/2021
In 1967, the Supreme Court invented qualified immunity. And in 1982, the Court transformed the doctrine into the one we have today. On this episode, we trace the development of the doctrine, and push back against the idea that immunities for executive branch officials, like the police, are deeply rooted in this country's legal tradition. Click here for transcript. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:00:59:43

Under Color of Law | Season 2, Ep. 5

3/1/2021
In Chicago in 1958, over a dozen police officers barged into the home of a sleeping family with guns drawn. They didn't have a warrant, and it turned out they didn't have the right man. When the family's civil rights claim reached the Supreme Court, it resulted in the landmark case of of Monroe v. Pape, which finally — 90 years after Congress authorized such suits — opened the doors of federal courthouses to victims of unconstitutional misconduct by state and local officials. On this episode, we hear about the raid from people who experienced it firsthand. Click here for transcript. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:01:09:56

Outrage Legislation | Season 2, Ep. 4

1/28/2021
Section 1983 is one of the most important civil rights laws on the books; tens of thousands of plaintiffs file Section 1983 cases each year seeking to hold state and local officials to account for unconstitutional conduct ranging from excessive force and false arrest, to violations of free speech rights and much else. But where does the law come from? In this episode, we explore the origins of Section 1983, or, as it was originally called, Section One of the Ku Klux Klan Act 1871. Click here for transcript. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:01:03:38

The Bubble | Season 2, Ep. 3

12/28/2020
By any measure, the conditions that Lee Saunders endured in the psych unit at the Brevard County jail in Florida were shockingly inhumane. But when he sued over the overcrowding, abusive treatment, and denial of basic sanitation, the courts ruled that the officer in charge was immune from suit. On this episode, we explore the state of qualified immunity doctrine today and whether the Supreme Court’s justifications for its policy of shielding officials from suit—even when they have violated the Constitution—hold water. Click here for transcript. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:01:09:08

Death By a Thousand Cuts | Season 2, Ep. 2

12/14/2020
For victims of government misconduct, whether you can sue the officials who violated your constitutional rights often depends on whether the officials are federal, state, or local government employees. On Episode 2, we look at federal officials. We'll head out to Wyoming where a rancher subjected to a 12-year campaign of harassment found out the hard way that all too often the Constitution simply isn't enforceable against federal officials. Click here for transcript. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:01:05:00

They’re Going to Kill This Man | Season 2, Ep. 1

11/25/2020
In 2014, two members of a joint state-federal fugitive task force beat up an innocent college student, James King, after mistaking him for a suspect who looked nothing like him. The officers had James prosecuted for resisting arrest, which a jury quickly threw out. Then, in 2015, he sued the officers for violating his rights. In 2020, James' suit reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where the question the Court faced was a narrow one: Can he even sue the officers in the first place? On Season 2 of Bound By Oath, we'll explore why it is so hard to sue government officials who violate the Constitution. Click here for transcript. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:00:38:01

Trailer: Season 2

11/23/2020
Why is it so hard to sue officials who violate the Constitution? Season 2 of Bound By Oath is coming soon. Click here for transcript. Click for Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:00:38:01

Episode 9 – Excessive Fines

2/20/2020
Prohibitions on excessive fines date back at least as far as Magna Carta in 1215, and the U.S. Constitution has barred excessive fines since 1791. But the Supreme Court has only recently begun to interpret what the Excessive Fines Clause means, and it wasn't until 2019 that the Court said the Clause applies to the states. On this episode: the story of how the Supreme Court finally began to incorporate the Bill of Rights rights against the states and the history of excessive fines. Click here for transcript. Click here for Episode 1. Click for iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Duration:01:03:02