All posts by lawpod

OA 106: Elections Have Consequences! Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders & the DNC Lawsuit

In this episode, we discuss a number of political stories making the rounds.

First, “Yodel Mountain” returns with a look at the recent CNN story showing that the FBI obtained a FISA court warrant for Paul Manafort.  Does this mean Trump’s complaints about Obama “wiretapping” his campaign are true?  Listen and find out!

In the main segment, Andrew walks us through the recent ruling dismissing out the class action claims against the Democratic National Committee ostensibly by Bernie Sanders supporters.  Find out what’s really going on!

Next, we answer a listener question from Patrick Hager about whether Congress can really overrule the Supreme Court.  Learn civics with us!

Finally, we end with a new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #42 about whether an expert witness can authenticate crucial pieces of evidence.  Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by retweeting our episode Tweet along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was a guest on Episode 11 of the Reasonable Risk podcast; go check it out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is 50 U.S.C. § 1805, which governs FISA court warrants.
  2. You can read the Wall Street Journal article on how FISA warrants are “rubber-stamped” by clicking here.
  3. And this is the CNN report indicating that Manafort’s investigation had been reopened by the FBI.
  4. DON’T CLICK ON THIS Observer link!
  5. Here is a link to the original lawsuit filed against the DNC.
  6. This is the DNC’s Charter and Bylaws, which contain Article 5, Section 4.
  7. Here is the transcript of oral argument on April 25, 2017.
  8. This is the Wymbs v. Republican State Executive Committee of Florida decision discussed on the show.
  9. Here is the link to Jared Beck’s appearance on InfoWars.
  10. And this is Elizabeth Lee Beck’s interview with WorldNet Daily.
  11. Finally, this is the link to the court’s ruling.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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OA105: More Gay Wedding Cakes

Today’s show discusses everyone’s favorite non-issue:  whether bigots who bake cakes for a living can discriminate against gays.

We begin with a lightning round of questions taken from the Opening Arguments Facebook Community, which you should definitely join!

In the main segment, we break down Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Next, we explain the recent pronouncement by Donald Trump regarding enforcement of the Magnitsky Act.  Are we scaling Yodel Mountain?  Listen and find out!

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #41 regarding direct and circumstantial evidence in the context of a murder investigation and a shoeprint left at the scene.  Don’t forget to following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here is where you can find the recently-created Opening Arguments Facebook Community, which you should definitely join!
  2. We answer a question about the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. § 801 et seq.; we first discussed the CRA back in Episode 61.
  3. Our next lightning round question is about revenge porn, which we first discussed in Episode 87, and the relevant statute is Cal. PEN § 647(j)(4).
  4. We end the lightning round with a question about the Apple X phone drawn from this article in Slate.
  5. You can click here to read the Appellees’ brief in opposition to certiorari in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.
  6. This is the text of the Magnitsky Act; and this is the memorandum issued by the Trump White House.

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Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA104: Equifax, Class Actions, Sham Marriages & Redistricting!

Our jam-packed “breaking news” episode covers some of the biggest stories trending at the moment, including the Equifax breach.

First, Closed Arguments returns by tackling a proposal from friend of the show Eli Bosnick, who asks — in light of Trump’s repeal of DACA — whether we can’t just marry off the 800,000 program participants.  We can’t; listen and find out why.

In the main segment, Andrew walks us through the Equifax data breach, the pending class-action lawsuits, and all of the key legal issues.  He even weighs in on the “chat bot” that some are saying will file your suit for  you!

Next, Breakin’ Down the Law continues with everything you wanted to know about the Supreme Court’s recent gerrymandering decision.

Finally, we end with a new (and possibly too-easy!) Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #41 about the admissibility of footprint and shoe evidence.  Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by retweeting our episode Tweet along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. “Adjustment of status” is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1255, and sham marriages are prohibited by 8 U.S.C. § 1325(c).
  2. This is the Oregon lawsuit filed against Equifax.
  3. Class actions are governed by Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  4. Here is a link to Equifax’s statement regarding the website TOC issued in response to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s inquiry.
  5. We previously discussed political gerrymandering (including the “Wisconsin case”) in episode 54, and racial gerrymandering and Cooper v. Harris in episode 72.
  6. This is a link to the Supreme Court’s one-sentence 5-4 order in Abbott v. Perez staying the lower court’s decision, and this is a link to that case, Perez v. Abbott, SA-11-CV-360 (Aug. 15, 2017).
  7. Please remember to sign up for the Opening Arguments Facebook Community!  We’d love to see you there!

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA103: We Defend Trump, Part 2!

Today’s show discusses the Trump budget, scientist Kevin Folta’s defamation lawsuit, and the recent debt ceiling deal struck between Trump and Democrats.

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the guys encourage you to donate to either (or both) the Red Cross and/or Habitat for Humanity‘s hurricane relief efforts.  If you do, please post your receipt on Facebook for a chance to win an Opening Arguments t-shirt.

We begin with a great question from British listener David Cartwright about the Trump presidency — and the answer will surprise you!

In the main segment, the guys break down Kevin Folta’s defamation lawsuit in which he alleges that the New York Times defamed him by publishing a “hit piece” implying that he’s in the pocket of Monsanto.

Next, we explain the practical and political ramifications of the debt ceiling agreement.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #40 regarding jury instructions and the presumption of intent.  Don’t forget to following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is a link to the Red Cross‘s page for donations for hurricane relief; and here is a link to Habitat for Humanity‘s hurricane relief efforts.
  2. Find out how to win a T-shirt from us by clicking here.
  3. Here is where you can find the recently-created Opening Arguments Facebook Community, which you should definitely join!
  4. This is the full list of all 54 bills that Donald Trump has signed into law.
  5. Here is a link to S.442, the $19.5 billion NASA 2017 budget.  For comparison, this is the NASA press release detailing the agency’s 2016 budget.
  6. Click here to read Kevin Folta’s lawsuit against the New York Times (which contains the original article as an exhibit).
  7. Finally, the debt ceiling is codified at 31 U.S.C. § 3101.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA102: The Utah Nurse, DACA, & Disaster Relief

This week’s “breaking news” episode covers three of the biggest stories trending at the moment:  the Utah nurse who was arrested for standing up for her patient’s rights; Trump’s repeal of DACA; and churches suing for relief funds.

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the guys encourage you to donate to either (or both) the Red Cross and/or Habitat for Humanity‘s hurricane relief efforts.

We begin with the story behind the arrest of Alex Wubbels, the Utah nurse who refused to take and turn over her patient’s blood to the police.

In the main segment, Andrew walks us through President Trump’s directive to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Does Andrew actually agree with a legal opinion authored by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III??  Listen and find out!

Next, Breakin’ Down the Law continues with everything you wanted to know about churches suing for funds allocated to disaster relief and recovery.  Is the Friendly Atheist right when he says such a case is legally distinct from the precedent set by Trinity Lutheran v. Comer?

Finally, we end with a fiendishly difficult and all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #40 about jury instructions regarding the presumption of intent.  Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by retweeting our episode Tweet along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is a link to the Red Cross‘s page for donations for hurricane relief; and here is a link to Habitat for Humanity‘s hurricane relief efforts.
  2. Here is where you can find the recently-created Opening Arguments Facebook Community, which you should definitely join!
  3. You can read the relevant Supreme Court opinion, Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016), that Nurse Wubbels relied upon in refusing to take and turn over blood to the police.
  4. The guys first discussed illegal immigration on Episode 52 and then again in Episode 67.
  5. This is the original June 15, 2012 Napolitano DHS memo that became DACA.
  6. This the text of the recent memorandum by Attorney General Sessions rescinding DACA.
  7. The DAPA case relied upon by Sessions is Texas v. US, 86 F.Supp.3d 591 (S.D. Tex. 2015)aff’d, 809 F.3d 134 (5th Cir. 2015).
  8. We first analyzed the Trinity Lutheran v. Comer decision (along with Andrew Seidel) in Episode 82.
  9. Previously, we discussed Trinity Lutheran while the case was still pending during our three-part “You Be The Supreme Court” series:  Part 1 (Episode 14) is available herePart 2 is available here, and Part 3 is available here.
  10. This is the Friendly Atheist article discussed during the “C” segment attempting to distinguish Trinity Lutheran v. Comer.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA101: DreamHost and Free Speech

Today’s show discusses the free speech issues surrounding the Trump administration issuing a search warrant to DreamHost in connection with its hosting of a website critical of the Trump administration.

We begin, however, with the triumphant return of “CLOSED ARGUMENTS” — this time, examining a truly insane claim being made by Ron Paul supporters and other nutballs who think that the Washington Metro Safety Commission overturns the Fourth Amendment.  (It doesn’t.)

In the main segment, we delve into all the intricacies of the DreamHost search warrant and what it means for us as internet users.

Next, the guys tackle a “hypothetical” question about conspiracy that just might take place on Yodel Mountain.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #39 regarding hearsay testimony.  Don’t forget to following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. The text of House Joint Res. 76 can be found here.
  2. If you’re a masochist, you can read the truly insane “ZeroHedge” post that totally misconstrues the law here.
  3. This is a copy of the initial search warrant served on DreamHost.
  4. And here is a link to all of DreamHost’s discussion of their responses to the search warrant.
  5. Finally, here is a link to the Washington Post article describing various Inauguration Day riots.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

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OA100: Trump’s Trans Ban & Arpaio Pardon

This week’s “breaking news” episode covers two of the biggest Trump stories right now:  the ban on trans soldiers in the military, and the President’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

First, though, we begin with the seldom-necessary “Andrew Was Wrong” segment.  The less said about this, the better.

In the main segment, Andrew walks us through President Trump’s directive to the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security regarding transgender servicemembers, as well as the lawsuit filed by the ACLU challenging the directive.

Next, Breakin’ Down the Law continues with everything you wanted to know about the Joe Arpaio pardon.  Is it legal?  Does it make him civilly liable?  Does it erase his prior convictions?  Can he now be forced to testify?  Listen and find out.

Finally, we end with an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #39 about the admissibility of a criminal defendant’s prior statement.  Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by retweeting our episode Tweet along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here is a link to the Trump memorandum directing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security regarding trans servicemembers.
  2. This is he lawsuit filed by the ACLU challenging that directive.
  3. Here is the Martin Redish New York Times article initially entitled “Why Trump Can’t Pardon Arpaio.”
  4. This is a paper by Stephen Greenspan, Ph.D., listing posthumous pardons that I used for research in this epsiode.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA99: Q&A Extravaganza!

Today’s show is an hour-plus-long question & answer session answers some (but not all!) of the 110 questions our Patrons submitted on this thread.  As always, Andrew has no advance knowledge of these questions and answers everything off the cuff!

After the Q&A, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #38 regarding the admissibility of prior consistent statements.  And don’t forget to play along by following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and/or our Facebook Page and quoting the Tweet or Facebook Post that announces this episode along with your guess and reason(s)!

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA98: More Sovereign Citizen Madness!

If you or anyone you know has ever cared what color the fringe on the U.S. flag is, you will not want to miss this episode.  Yes, by popular request, we once again tackle the wild and wacky world of sovereign citizen loons!

First, though, the guys read a listener comment from Tony Wall who actually toured with KISS (!!) and can give us some insight as to Gene Simmons’s copyright practices.

In the main segment, Andrew walks through Gray v. Texas, a 2009 decision of the Texas Court of Appeals that delightfully debunks a great many “sovereign citizen” claims.

Next, the guys answer a question from Revan, who wants to know whether criminal and civil cases wind up in the same courtroom or even in front of the same judge.

Finally, we end with an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #38 about the admissibility of prior consistent statements by a witness.  Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by retweeting our episode Tweet along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Show Notes & Links

  1. You will absolutely want to read Gray v. Texas!
  2. And here is a link to the David Hall DUI hearing in which the judge delightfully deals with sovereign citizen nonsense.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA97: What Can Your Employer Fire You For?

Today’s show deals with a number of issues that all surround what your employer can (and cannot) fire you for.

First, we begin by revisiting the “Google manifesto” topic from Opening Arguments Episode #94 as Thomas and Andrew respond to some hate mail from a listener who no longer wants to listen to the show after that episode.  Does he have a point?  Listen and find out.

Next, the guys break down whether employees can discuss their salaries with co-workers on the job.

After that, Andrew and Thomas answer a question from Patron April who wants to know how much an employer can control your social media use.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #37 regarding installment contracts.  And don’t forget to play along by following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and/or our Facebook Page and quoting the Tweet or Facebook Post that announces this episode along with your guess and reason(s)!

Recent Appearances

None.  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed the “Google manifesto” during Opening Arguments Episode #94.
  2. You can read that Google manifesto referred to during that episode as well.
  3. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 can be found at 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.
  4. This is the text of President Obama’s 2014 EO directing non-retaliation against government employees who discuss their compensation.
  5. This is the NLRB’s collection of findings regarding social media.
  6. Here is a link to Three D, LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, the Second Circuit case referred to during the “C” segment.
  7. Here is a link to Rule 801 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which explains the answer to #TTTBE.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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