OA42: Denny Hastert and the Limits of Contract Law

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In today’s episode, we take a look at the law of contracts, and particularly in the context of the recent lawsuit involving former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert.

We begin, however, with a related question from patron Michael, who asks whether the Scientologists can really enforce that billion-year contract to join to Sea Org.  (This answer will not surprise you.)

That leads into our main segment, where we look at the strange and tragic lawsuit being brought against Hastert by a victim of his past sexual assault.  Hastert agreed to pay the victim $3.5 million for his silence, and then stopped paying after he came under federal investigation.  Recently, Hastert counter-sued to recover the hush money previously paid, and we break down all the intricacies of contract law to try and figure out who’s likely to get what.

After our main segment, we tackle another listener question; this time, about whether employers can fire you for smoking marijuana in the privacy of your own home if you live in a state like Colorado that’s legalized marijuana use.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #10 which is another very, very hard question.  Remember that TTTBE issues a new question every Friday, followed by the answer on next Tuesday’s show.  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)!

Show Notes & Links

  1. This Chicago Tribune article sets forth the facts of the Hastert case.
  2. And this Tribune article contains the actual text of Haster’s counterclaim that we discuss during the show.
  3. On Thursday, Andrew was a guest on The Scathing Atheist podcast episode #208.
  4. That same day (he’s a busy guy!), Andrew also did a guest spot on episode #103 of the Gaytheist Manifesto podcast.

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