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OA211: Manafort Flips (and more on Kavanaugh)

Today's Rapid Response Friday tackles (1) Paul Manafort's plea deal and (2) the surprise resumption of the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh in light of Dr. Ford's allegations, which are discussed in depth on Episode 158 of Serious Inquiries Only. What should you look for during Monday's hearings? Listen and find out! We begin with an acknowledgment of the story sent to us by several hundred thousand listeners regarding crazy...


OA210: Cash Bail, Glucksburg and More

Today's episode takes two deep dives: first, into California SB10, which eliminates the "cash bail" system of pretrial detention in California, and second, into the Supreme Court's 1997 decision in Washington v. Glucksberg. What does it all mean? You'll have to listen to know for sure! We begin, however, with an update on Wells Fargo's $1 billion remediation plan first discussed in Episode 169. After that, we tackle California SB10, which is now law -- even though it won't go into effect...


OA209: Kavanaugh's Confirmation

Today's Rapid Response Friday is all about the conclusion of the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. What did we learn? What's still outstanding? Are liberals really guilty of trying to bribe Susan Collins? And, most importantly: what can we do about any of this?? Listen and find out! We begin, however, with an important Andrew Was Wrong. After that, we delve into all the week's issues surrounding the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, including: (1) the status of...


OA208: Moore is Still Less

Today's episode takes a deep dive into a 2003 Supreme Court decision, Stogner v. California, and discusses the Constitution's ex post facto clause. Why? Listen and find out! After that, we break down the $95 million lawsuit filed by Roy Moore against Sacha Baron Cohen alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud. Is it meritorious? Who's Moore's lawyer? Will you laugh? There's only one way to know! Finally, we end with Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #92...


OA207: Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Hearings

Today's Rapid Response Friday tackles the ongoing Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings for Brett Kavanaugh -- including an analysis of documents that broke literally after we recorded the show! Find out if any of this can slow down Kavanaugh's presumed path the SCOTUS. We begin, however, with listener feedback on our rather controversial Episode 205 (with Andrew Seidel) as well as follow-up emails regarding 3-D guns and our contributions to SwingLeft. After that, we break down the critical...


OA206: Will This ONE WEIRD TRICK Unravel the Mueller Investigation?

Today's episode takes us back to Yodel Mountain, where we take a look at a popular article making the rounds suggesting that (you guessed it) this ONE WEIRD TRICK might unravel the entire Mueller investigation. Should you be worried? (No.) We begin, however, with the rare (but delightful!) Thomas Was Right segment revisiting 3-D guns and the Arms Export Control Act. What's going on? Listen and find out! In the main segment, we take apart this Politico story suggesting that McKeever v....


OA205: More on Masterpiece, Younger & the Catholic Church (w/guest Andrew Seidel)

Today's episode tackles two big church/state separation stories currently circulating right now: the recent lawsuit filed by the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, and the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation of the Catholic Church. And, of course, there's no better guide to these issues than friend of the show and Director of Strategic Response for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Andrew Seidel. We begin the Masterpiece, going in depth on the case we first discussed back in Episode...


OA204: The Perjury Trap (w/guest Randall Eliason)

Today's episode welcomes back one of our favorite guest experts, former prosecutor and current law professor Randall Eliason of the Sidebars blog, who will help us break down what exactly a "perjury trap" is -- and whether Robert Mueller is laying one for the President. Of course, when we have a guest this good, we also have to take advantage of his expertise in a couple of other areas. So we begin by checking in on the news of the day: Mueller has already reportedly offered immunity to...


OA203: Paul Manafort Convicted, Michael Cohen Pleads

Today's extra-long, extra-early Rapid Response episode tackles the two biggest stories in the news right now: Paul Manafort's conviction, and Michael Cohen's plea deal. We tell you exactly what these two big stories actually mean. We begin with Paul Manafort. What did the jury decide? Why did they fail to reach a verdict on 10 counts? What were those counts? How long is Paulie M going to stay in prison and what's next? And, most importantly: what does this mean for Yodel Mountain? How likely...


OA202: Roundup (With Special Guest the SciBabe!)

Today's episode takes an in-depth look at the recent $289 million dollar verdict handed down by a California state jury for a man who alleges that the herbicide Roundup (TM) gave him cancer. First, we break down the facts of the lawsuit. Then, we have on special guest Yvette d'Entremont -- a.k.a. the SciBabe -- to break down the science behind glyphosate (the active chemical in Roundup). After that, it's time for everyone's favorite Thomas (& Yvette) Take the Bar Exam, where our dynamic duo...


OA201: Follow Up Friday!

Today's Rapid Response Friday is actually a Follow Up Friday! We revisit four stories from recent episodes and go into more depth on each one, particularly in light of recent developments. We begin with our most recent story regarding reporter's privilege in Episode 200. What's the other side of the argument? Find out why friend of the show Randall Eliason thinks that reporter's ought not to have the right to keep their sources confidential! After that, we move back one more episode to...


OA200: Reporters and Confidential Sources

Today's episode takes an in-depth look at the legal protections reporters have (and don't have) to keep their sources confidential. We begin, however, with an update on how "Elections Have Consequences," this time, looking at the state of the House of Representatives in light of last week's special election in OH-12. After that, we dive deeply into reporter privilege, beginning with a discussion of the Supreme Court's decision in Branzburg v. Hayes and continuing through to the...


OA199: Asbestos??!? (Or: Why Is This Man Smiling?)

Note: the SaneBox url in this episode is incorrect. Please go to to take advantage of a great deal on their product! Today's Rapid Response Friday breaks down everything you need to know regarding the Trump EPA's recent rules change regarding asbestos. Is it as ominous as it sounds? (Yes.) We begin, however, with the oddest OA segment of all time: Devin Nunes was right! What was he right about, and what's a Michael Kinsley gaffe? You'll just have to listen and...


OA198: What Is Alan Dershowitz Thinking?

Today's episode takes an in-depth look at Donald Trump's favorite "liberal," Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz as seen through the eyes of one of his former students. We begin, however, with an update from the Paul Manafort trial, taking a look at the prosecution's strategy, witness list, and some preliminary rulings by Judge Ellis. After that, we dive very deeply into what looks like a very weird phenomenon: why is Alan Dershowitz carrying water for a President whom he ostensibly...


OA197: Undetectable, Untraceable, 3-D Printed Guns

Today's Rapid Response Friday breaks down all of the legal wrangling regarding the Trump Administration's secret settlement with a self-described "crypto-anarchist" who uploaded material that allows anyone with access to a 3-D printer to make their own plastic, undetectable, untraceable firearm. We begin, however, with a listener who's considering coming over to the "dark side" and wants an honest answer about getting electoral help from overseas. What if the Irish want to help elect Liz...


OA196: Voting and Sore Losers

Today's episode tells you everything you need to know about voting, including in particular West Virginia's "Sore Loser" law and whether it applies to big fat racist criminal loser Don Blankenship... and, in turn, what that means for Joe Manchin's chances of holding on to his Senate seat in the 2018 midterms. Phew! We begin, however, with... *sigh*... Andrew Was Wrong. This time, an astute listener clarifies where Andrew elided over two different sections of the Voting Rights Act when...


OA195: Lordy, There Are Tapes!

Today's Rapid Response Friday breaks down all of a busy week's developments in the Trump Administration's trip up Yodel Mountain, including the surprising revelation that Michael Cohen has audio tapes of his conversations with Donald Trump. What does it all mean? Listen and find out! We begin, however, with a challenging listener question regarding legal ethics and summer associates that hearkens back to our last episode. The main segment tackles an entire week's worth of yodeling,...


OA194: Paul Manafort is Going to Trial! (& McDonald's!)

Today's episode tells you everything you need to know before Paul Manafort's trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, which begins Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Oh, and we break down the recent lawsuit against McDonald's to boot! We begin, however, with a very good listener question from "Judicial Noir" regarding ethics, science, and a summer internship! After that, it's time to discuss an actual lawsuit over actual cheese. Yes, there's a class action lawsuit against Thomas's favorite...


OA193: This Is Worse Than Watergate - PLUS Mandalay Bay Suing Victims?

Today's Rapid Response Friday breaks down the recent lawsuit filed by the Mandalay Bay casino regarding the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Is it true that the casino is suing the victims? What's that all about?? Listen and find out! Also, we check in with Yodel Mountain and figure out, once and for all, if this is really worse than Watergate. (Hint: yes.) We begin, however, with everybody's favorite segment, Andrew Was Wrong, in which we revisit the Supreme Court with a few corrections. The main...


OA192: Capital Punishment, the Eighth Amendment &... Obergefell?

Today's episode takes an in-depth historical look at the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishment" and what that might mean for the future of Obergefell v. Hodges in the next Supreme Court. What does capital punishment have to do with gay marriage? Listen and find out! We begin, however, with a discussion of the District Court's refusal to modify the Flores settlement we discussed in Episode 184. Find out what the court thinks of Trump's Executive Order to "keep...