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RadioLab Presents: More Perfect-logo

RadioLab Presents: More Perfect

WNYC

Radiolab's More Perfect is a series about the Supreme Court. More Perfect explores how cases deliberated inside the rarefied world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench. Produced by WNYC Studios, home of other great podcasts such as Death, Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media, and Here’s the Thing.

Radiolab's More Perfect is a series about the Supreme Court. More Perfect explores how cases deliberated inside the rarefied world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench. Produced by WNYC Studios, home of other great podcasts such as Death, Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media, and Here’s the Thing.
More Information

Location:

New York City, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

Radiolab's More Perfect is a series about the Supreme Court. More Perfect explores how cases deliberated inside the rarefied world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench. Produced by WNYC Studios, home of other great podcasts such as Death, Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media, and Here’s the Thing.

Twitter:

@moreperfect

Language:

English


Episodes

Justice, Interrupted

12/19/2017
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The rules of oral argument at the Supreme Court are strict: when a justice speaks, the advocate has to shut up. But a law student noticed that the rules were getting broken again and again — by men. He and his professor set out to chart an epidemic of interruptions. If women can’t catch a break in the boardroom or the legislature (or at the MTV VMA’s), what’s it going to take to let them speak from the bench of the highest court in the land? The key voices: Tonja JacobiDylan Schweers The...

Duration:00:24:16


The Architect

12/7/2017
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On this episode, we revisit Edward Blum, a self-described “legal entrepreneur” and former stockbroker who has become something of a Supreme Court matchmaker: he takes an issue, finds the perfect plaintiff, matches them with lawyers, and helps the case work its way to the highest court in the land. His target: laws that differentiate between people based on race — including ones that empower minorities. More Perfect profiled Edward Blum in season one of the show. We catch up with him to...

Duration:00:36:32


Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man

11/30/2017
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On a fall afternoon in 1984, Dethorne Graham ran into a convenience store for a bottle of orange juice. Minutes later he was unconscious, injured, and in police handcuffs. In this episode, we explore a case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US. The key voices: Graham v. ConnorEdward G. (Woody) ConnetteGerald BeaverKelly McEversEmbeddedAll Things Considered The key case: Graham v. Connor Additional production for this...

Duration:01:10:42


Sex Appeal

11/23/2017
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“Equal protection of the laws” was granted to all persons by the 14th Amendment in 1868. But for nearly a century after that, women had a hard time convincing the courts that they should be allowed to be jurors, lawyers, and bartenders, just the same as men. A then-lawyer at the ACLU named Ruth Bader Ginsburg set out to convince an all-male Supreme Court to take sex discrimination seriously with an unconventional strategy. She didn’t just bring cases where women were the victims of...

Duration:00:58:16


The Hate Debate

11/6/2017
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Should you be able to say and do whatever you want online? And if not, who should police this? More Perfect hosts a debate at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space about online hate speech, fake news, and whether the First Amendment needs an update for the digital age. The key voices: Corynne McSherryElie MystalAbove the LawMore PerfectKen White—Popehat.com The key cases: Yates v. United StatesBrandenburg v. Ohio The key links: ProPublica's report on Facebook's censorship policies...

Duration:00:38:34


Citizens United

11/2/2017
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Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission is one of the most polarizing Supreme Court cases of all time. So what is it actually about, and why did the Justices decide the way they did? Justice Anthony Kennedy, often called the “most powerful man in America,” wrote the majority opinion in the case. In this episode, we examine Kennedy’s singular devotion to the First Amendment and look at how it may have influenced his decision in the case. The key voices: 99 RiseMichael BoosThe Bopp...

Duration:01:02:59


Enemy of Mankind

10/24/2017
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Should the U.S. Supreme Court be the court of the world? In the 18th century, two feuding Frenchmen inspired a one-sentence law that helped launch American human rights litigation into the 20th century. The Alien Tort Statute allowed a Paraguayan woman to find justice for a terrible crime committed in her homeland. But as America reached further and further out into the world, the court was forced to confront the contradictions in our country’s ideology: sympathy vs. sovereignty. Earlier...

Duration:00:56:37


The Heist

10/16/2017
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The Supreme Court may not have been conceptualized as a co-equal branch of the federal government, but it became one as a result of the political maneuvering of Chief Justice John Marshall. The fourth (and longest-serving) chief justice was "a great lover of power," according to historian Jill Lepore, but he was also a great lover of secrecy. Marshall believed, in order for the justices to confer with each other candidly, their papers needed to remain secret in perpetuity. It was under...

Duration:00:23:17


The Gun Show

10/12/2017
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For nearly 200 years of our nation’s history, the Second Amendment was an all-but-forgotten rule about the importance of militias. But in the 1960s and 70s, a movement emerged — led by Black Panthers and a recently-repositioned NRA — that insisted owning a firearm was the right of each and every American. So began a constitutional debate that only the Supreme Court could solve. That didn’t happen until 2008, when a Washington, D.C. security guard named Dick Heller made a compelling...

Duration:01:12:01


Who’s Gerry and Why Is He So Bad at Drawing Maps?

10/3/2017
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“It is an invidious, undemocratic, and unconstitutional practice,” Justice John Paul Stevens said of gerrymandering in Vieth v. Jubelirer (2004). Politicians have been manipulating district lines to favor one party over another since the founding of our nation. But with a case starting today, Gill v. Whitford, the Supreme Court may be in a position to crack this historical nut once and for all. Up until this point, the court didn’t have a standard measure or test for how much one side had...

Duration:00:22:58


American Pendulum I

10/2/2017
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What happens when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seems to get it wrong? Korematsu v. United States is a case that’s been widely denounced and discredited, but it still remains on the books. This is the case that upheld President Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of American citizens during World War II based solely on their Japanese heritage, for the sake of national security. In this episode, we follow Fred Korematsu’s path to the Supreme Court, and we ask the question:...

Duration:00:47:41


We're Back

9/28/2017
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More Perfect, the show that takes you inside the United States Supreme Court, is back on October 2, 2017. Sex, race, guns, executive orders: Season two has it all. We'll see you in court.

Duration:00:01:22


Object Anyway

7/16/2016
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At the trial of James Batson in 1982, the prosecution eliminated all the black jurors from the jury pool. Batson objected, setting off a complicated discussion about jury selection that would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. On this episode of More Perfect, the Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection, but may have only made the problem worse. James Batson (L) with his mother Rose (R) (Sean Rameswaram) Joe Gutmann with his students...

Duration:00:49:39


Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer

7/1/2016
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We tend to think of the Supreme Court justices as all-powerful guardians of the constitution, issuing momentous rulings from on high. They seem at once powerful, and unknowable; all lacy collars and black robes. But they haven’t always been so, you know, supreme. On this episode of More Perfect, we go all the way back to the case that, in a lot of ways, is the beginning of the court we know today. Speaking of the current court, if you need help remembering the eight justices, we've made...

Duration:00:38:03


The Imperfect Plaintiffs

6/28/2016
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Last week, the court decided one of this term’s blockbuster cases — a case that could affect the future of affirmative action in this country. The plaintiff was Abigail Fisher, a white woman, who said she was rejected from the University of Texas because the university unfairly considered race as one of many factors when evaluating applicants. And while Fisher’s claims were the focus of the case, the story behind how she ended up in front of the Supreme Court is a lot more...

Duration:01:04:52


More Perfect presents: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

6/17/2016
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This is the story of a three-year-old girl and the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl was a legal battle that entangled a biological father, a heart-broken couple, and the tragic history of Native American children taken from their families. When producer Tim Howard first read about this case, it struck him as a sad, but seemingly straightforward custody dispute. But as he started talking to lawyers, historians, and the families involved in the...

Duration:00:43:47


The Political Thicket

6/10/2016
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When Chief Justice Earl Warren was asked at the end of his career, “What was the most important case of your tenure?”, there were a lot of answers he could have given. After all, he had presided over some of the most important decisions in the court’s history — cases that dealt with segregation in schools, the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, just to name a few. But his answer was a surprise: He said, “Baker v. Carr,” a 1962 redistricting case. On this episode of More...

Duration:00:43:55


Cruel and Unusual

6/2/2016
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On the inaugural episode of More Perfect, we explore three little words embedded in the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “cruel and unusual.” America has long wrestled with this concept in the context of our strongest punishment, the death penalty. A majority of “we the people” (61 percent, to be exact) are in favor of having it, but inside the Supreme Court, opinions have evolved over time in surprising ways. And outside of the court, the debate drove one woman in the UK to take...

Duration:00:40:19


Coming Soon: More Perfect

5/24/2016
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How does an elite group of nine people shape everything from marriage and money, to safety and sex for an entire nation? From the producers of Radiolab, More Perfect dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.

Duration:00:01:03