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Sidebar by Courthouse News

News & Politics Podcasts

Sidebar by Courthouse News tackles the stories you need to know from the legal world. Join reporters Daniel Jackson, Amanda Pampuro and Nina Pullano as they take you in and out of courtrooms in the U.S. and beyond and break down all the developments that had them talking.

Sidebar by Courthouse News tackles the stories you need to know from the legal world. Join reporters Daniel Jackson, Amanda Pampuro and Nina Pullano as they take you in and out of courtrooms in the U.S. and beyond and break down all the developments that had them talking.


United States


Sidebar by Courthouse News tackles the stories you need to know from the legal world. Join reporters Daniel Jackson, Amanda Pampuro and Nina Pullano as they take you in and out of courtrooms in the U.S. and beyond and break down all the developments that had them talking.








A Quirky Look at Juries

Jury duty. A cornerstone of the American justice system brings together complete strangers with almost no context to dispense justice. Being called to your civic duty as a juror can be confusing, like taking a class you never meant to sign up for. In this episode, we take you behind the scenes in courthouses across the country to reveal the inner workings of how juries operate. Fans of true crime and “Law & Order” create new perspectives. Social media is now an unavoidable part of the...


Pilgrimage to Amache

From August 1942 to October 1945, the Amache incarceration camp on the dusty, desolate eastern plain of Colorado detained 10,000 Japanese Americans and other immigrants. Those imprisoned at Amache built their own town with a fire department, a beauty salon and schools. Detainees raised crops, grew gardens and held festivals to honor the changing seasons. Just children when uprooted with their families during World War II, the survivors of the camp were left to make sense of what happened to...


Culture Wars and the Fight Over Looted Artifacts

Priceless artwork and tribal artifacts have made their way across the globe through several means, some legitimate and others … not so much. While we rely on these objects to tell us about history, tradition and culture, the way they end up in our communities sometimes raises questions about what should happen to them, where they rightfully belong and how the legal system can get them home. Congress has passed laws regulating what should happen to items taken from tribes without their...


My Body, My Choice

It feels like hardly a day goes by when you don't hear about the passage of a new, sweeping abortion law, an abortion-rights group challenging the law or another state weighing in on the treatment of transgender children, medically or within the school system. At the core of all this is bodily autonomy. How much say does an individual have over their own body? The phrase "my body, my choice" has been often used by those seeking to defy public health orders for the past two years. Meanwhile,...


Johnny & Amber

A quick note before we jump in: this episode contains discussions about abuse. It's not often that a case goes to trial that touches on many elements that intrigue the public. Celebrity, the #MeToo movement, public opinion and the media's coverage all swirl together as cameras are ready to capture the defamation trial between Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The former husband and wife square off in court over a $50 million defamation lawsuit Depp filed after Heard wrote an...


The Road To November

Need a primer for this year's midterm elections? We've got you covered. We talk to reporters and experts about how former President Donald Trump is still shaping American politics after losing reelection almost two years ago. The glue that binds Republicans together isn’t just "Stop the Steal" and other theories circulating about voter integrity: it’s a camaraderie built around identity and resistance to changing demographics. How is the GOP changing its messaging in "purple" districts...


The Right To Be Forgotten

The internet never forgets. It's an invaluable tool, but also one that provides little forgiveness for some individuals whose past run-ins with law enforcement, financial woes and photos of a night out on the town become publicized. We are coming to you in this episode with a primer on why the "right to be forgotten” became law in the European Union, and how the concept plays out in courtrooms and newsrooms across the United States as the government and the media try to determine what...


Border Wars

In this episode of Sidebar, we examine the human, ecological and political toll of the current and former administration's approaches to the U.S.-Mexico border. While physical barriers and infrastructure have entered into our collective imagery of today's border, nothing has a more tangible impact than policy. The Trump administration implemented the Remain in Mexico program in January 2019, forcing asylum-seeking migrants to wait in Mexico for their day in U.S. court. That policy remains...



Welcome to the second season of Sidebar. A quick warning before we jump in: this episode contains adult language and descriptions of violence. We speak to Maurice Caldwell and Zachary Vanderhorst – two men recently exonerated after spending decades in prison. These men now must grapple with their unjust incarcerations and the toll taken on their lives. Caldwell recently reached an $8 million settlement in a lawsuit against San Francisco after being wrongfully convicted of murder and...


Sidebar - Official Trailer

Season two of Sidebar, a podcast from Courthouse News, kicks off just around the corner. Join our hosts and reporters as they take you around the nation to break down lawsuits, the law and how they impact you and the life you live. Follow us on Twitter @SidebarCNS and for more.


SCOTUS and the Texas Abortion Law

Just when we think we have wrapped for the season … we're back, baby! We bring you this mini-episode to analyze Friday's decision by the Supreme Court, which allows Texas abortion providers to sue some defendants over the near-total abortion ban and leaves the Texas law in place. Kelsey Reichmann, our Supreme Court reporter, joins Sidebar producer and Austin-based reporter Kirk McDaniel to discuss what the ruling means, how we got here and where we go from here.


Have Yourself a Weird and Wacky Christmas

Welcome to the season finale! We culminate 11 episodes with a look into UFOs with the experts who study them and seek to know more about if there is really life out there. What does science say, and what can we expect our government to tell us about these unidentified objects? Then, we break down the oddest, wildest cases and news events that the podcast team has covered. From monkey selfies and Lil Nas X's Satan shoes to Utah's near-ban on porn and a Halal chicken story that just doesn't...


Wolf Wars, a Border Emergency and the Trial of Elizabeth Holmes

We kick off the penultimate episode of our first season of Sidebar in the American West, where a dispute has been brewing for decades between ranchers, the government and environmentalists over wolves. This long-standing debate over the extent to which these carnivorous mammals should be protected or hunted down and killed isn't going anywhere soon. Then we take a deep dive into a border emergency not often discussed: human waste flowing in the Tijuana River Basin. What will it take for the...


Divided Court, Divided Nation

In our ninth episode of Sidebar, we chronicle the pivotal cases the Supreme Court will hear over the next few months on divisive issues like abortion, gun control and the separation of church and state. Will the court's conservative majority pen rulings that could change the country's landscape? Then, we dive into the conspiracy theory QAnon, the Jan. 6 insurrection, the events that followed the 2020 presidential election and the effects all of this has had on the American psyche. How did...


International Intrigue, R. Kelly and the Fight to Free Britney

We are coming at you in our eighth episode with three stories of power, corruption and accountability. To kick things off, we take a look at Peru's bid to extradite its former president, Alejandro Toledo Manrique, on charges of bribery and money laundering. Peru claims Toledo helped a Brazilian company win a lucrative contract for a major highway project in exchange for $35 million in bribes. Then we break down R&B singer R. Kelly's trial and conviction for running a career-spanning sex...


Patriots, Politics and Playing for Pay

In our seventh episode, we discuss how 9/11 changed the legal landscape — and our lives, as a result — the election to recall (or not) California Gov. Gavin Newsom and, just in time for college football, the long, long fight to compensate student-athletes. Firstly, we take an in-depth look at how the 9/11 terror attack has reshaped the laws of the United States and led to an enduring debate over government surveillance powers. We also break down the Republican-led effort to recall...


The Dry, Dry West

We are taking a detailed look at the drought in the American West, spanning from water wars in Arizona, wildfires in California and why drought seems to be becoming the way of life across the West. First, we dive into Arizona's relationship with the Colorado River and hear about the shrinking lifeline that provides water to 40 million people in the American West. Farmers there have been the first to feel the impacts of the dehydrated planet. Then we face California's wildfires – a fact of...


Medical Hesitance, Political Defiance

In episode 5, we take a look at political and medical efforts by groups and people to go their own way, from anti-vaxxers in California and the politically defiant in Texas and D.C. We start the episode with a dive into the FBI’s ongoing efforts to track down people who took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection and talk to former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner about how the courts are sentencing those convicted for taking part. Then we hear from several experts on the First Amendment battle...


Shrooms, Sex and More Sex (Allegedly)

We dig into efforts to decriminalize psychedelic drugs and take you behind the scenes of two trials dealing with sex crimes. To start, we break down efforts by California lawmakers to light a fire on legalizing a host of psychedelics. Then, we hear from investigative journalist Sarah Berman about NXIVM, a sex cult with some high-profile members that preyed on vulnerable women. We wrap it up by detailing all you need to know about the upcoming criminal trial against R&B singer R. Kelly,...


Porn Crimes, Tech Wars and Saving the Gunnison Grouse

In our third episode, we take a look into the digital fallout of two California cases. First, we dive into the sisterhood formed by young women coerced into filming pornography by GirlsDoPorn, a company that promised not to post the videos online. Then we take you to an Oakland courtroom, where Fortnite creator Epic Games is battling Apple over its tight grip on its app store. Lastly, we see how efforts are going in Colorado to revitalize the population of a small bird with impressive...