OA85: More with Andrew Seidel on Trinity Lutheran & the First Amendment

For today’s show, we dive deeper into the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer with guest lawyer Andrew Seidel from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

First, however, we answer a question from Patron Christopher Arguin regarding cross-examination that was inspired by TTTBE #30.

In the main segment, Andrew and Andrew continue to discuss church-state separation and the First Amendment.

Next, our friend Seth Barrett Tillman provides us with an update on the CREW v. Trump lawsuit regarding emoluments.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #31 regarding the Statute of Frauds.  Listen and find out if Thomas’s improbable one-question winning streak will continue — 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!  But this is your last chance to join the guys at the Inciting Incident 100th Episode Live Spectacular in Carlisle, PA on July 14, 2017!  Get your tickets now!

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first spoke with Andrew Seidel regarding Trinity Lutheran during Episode 82.
  2. Here is a link to the Trinity Lutheran v. Comer decision.
  3. We first discussed Trinity Lutheran during our three-part “You Be The Supreme Court” series; part 1 (Episode 14) is available here, part 2 is available here, and part 3 is available here.
  4. This is the letter that the Missouri Attorney General sent indicating that, post-election, Missouri would change its policy.
  5. Finally, please check out Andrew Seidel’s great work at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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OA84: #CNNBlackmail, John Oliver’s lawsuit, and more on Maajid Nawaz

In today’s episode, we discuss the recent controversy over CNN’s handling of a Redditor who posted a Trump meme online.  Is this really “blackmail” by CNN?

We begin, however, with a follow-up from Patron Joerg regarding UK laws on personal jurisdiction/long-arm and defamation.  Could Maajid Nawaz (whose potential lawsuit we discussed in Episode #83) really file against the SPLC in the UK after all?

In our main segment, the guys break down CNN’s conduct and see if it qualifies as blackmail, extortion, conspiracy to deprive an individual of his Constitutional rights, or any other criminal behavior.

Next, by great popular demand, we tackle Bob Murray’s lawsuit against John Oliver in connection with his report on “Last Week Tonight.”  You won’t be surprised by our evaluation of the merits, but you will enjoy reading the Complaint!

Finally, we end with an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #31 about the Statute of Frauds.  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!  But you can come join the guys at the Inciting Incident 100th Episode Live Spectacular in Carlisle, PA on July 14, 2017!  Get your tickets now!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here is a link to the 2013 UK Defamation Act.
  2. This is the 2010 SPEECH Act,  28 U.S.C. § 4102.
  3. And here is the SPLC’s report on Maajid Nawaz labelling him an “anti-Muslim extremist.”.
  4. This is 18 U.S.C. § 873, the federal blackmail statute.
  5. Here is a link to an informative Washington Post article about the CNN/HanAssholeSolo debacle.
  6. And here is a link to the Ben Shapiro opinion piece in the National Review.
  7. This is a link to the lawsuit filed by Murray against Oliver, which is a delightful read.
  8. This link contains the original Oliver segment about Murray, which is definitely worth watching.

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OA83: Law of the Fourth of July! (and Maajid Nawaz)

In this special holiday episode, Andrew and Thomas talk about fireworks law across the U.S.  Where can you go for a cherry-bombin’ good time?  Listen and find out!

First, however, we take a look at Maajid Nawaz’s threatened lawsuit against the SPLC.  In the main segment, Andrew and Thomas figure out the best place to set off bottle rockets.  And after that, Andrew tackles another question from the patron-only Q&A mailbag.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas (and Andrew Seidel) Take the Bar Exam Question #30 regarding cross-examination.  Will Thomas and the practicing lawyer get it wrong?   Listen and find out, 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

Andrew was a guest on Episode 14 of Habeas Humor, cracking lawyer-themed “yo mama” jokes.  Check it out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the SPLC’s report on Maajid Nawaz labelling him an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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OA82: Trinity Lutheran, Trump’s Executive Order & More (w/guest Andrew Seidel)

For today’s show, we break down the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer with guest lawyer Andrew Seidel from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

We begin, however, with a parenting question from Garrett Thomas Fox in our Super-Secret Patron-Only Q&A thread that didn’t get answered on our patron-only special.

In our main segment, Andrew Seidel helps explain what went wrong in the Trinity Lutheran case that Andrew confidently predicted would go 6-3 the other way.

After that, we tackle the Supreme Court’s recent decision staying the judgment in the 4th and 9th Circuits, which in turn had enjoined the enforcement of Executive Order 13780.  What does all of this mean?  Listen and find out!

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #30 about cross-examination, in which our guest Andrew Seidel plays along!  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)!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was a guest on Episode 14 of Habeas Humor, cracking lawyer-themed “yo mama” jokes.  Check it out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here is a link to the Trinity Lutheran v. Comer decision.
  2. We first discussed Trinity Lutheran during our three-part “You Be The Supreme Court” series; part 1 (Episode 14) is available here, part 2 is available here, and part 3 is available here.
  3. This is the letter that the Missouri Attorney General sent indicating that, post-election, Missouri would change its policy.
  4. Here is a link to the Supreme Court’s decision allowing most of EO 13780 to go into effect.
  5. Finally, please check out Andrew Seidel’s great work at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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OA81: 😒😜🐿️😎 Emoji Law with Denise Howell (also: Voting Rights, Draft Kings, and FanDuel)

In this episode, Thomas and Andrew interview Denise Howell from the This Week in Law podcast.

First, however, we take a look at the Supreme Court’s recent decision denying certiorari in an appeal of a Fourth Circuit case striking down various provisions of a North Carolina law that restricted voting rights.  There’s a lot of misinformation going on, so you’ll want to listen!

In the main segment, Denise Howell breaks down the “law of emojis” and a 🐿️ time is had by all.

After that, Breakin’ Down the Law returns with the recent FTC decision to try and block the FanDuel-Draft Kings merger.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas (and Denise) Take the Bar Exam Question #29  regarding assumption of risk.  Will Thomas beat the practicing lawyer?  Listen and find out, 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.  But if you’re on the East Coast, you should check out Andrew’s speech to the Lehigh Valley Skeptics on “Skepticism and the Law” on July 2, 2017 at 11 am by clicking here.

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari, which is worth reading.
  2. The underlying case is NC State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, 831 F. 3d 204 (4th Cir. 2016).
  3. The Supreme Court’s 2-line denial of the application to stay McCrory, 137 S.Ct. 27 (2016) is here.
  4. This is a link to the “American News X” (wrong) “hot take.”
  5. You can read Prof. Eric Goldman’s delightful law review article on emojis here.
  6. And Denise recommends falling down the Wikipedia rabbit hole by reading the history of emojis.
  7. This is the FTC complaint against Draft Kings and FanDuel.
  8. And here are a few links to articles by and about new FTC Acting Director of Bureau of Competition Tad Lipsky.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA80: Flashback Friday (featuring Health Care, The Slants, and Gerrymandering!)

It’s our first Flashback Friday!  On today’s episode, we revisit topics from previous episodes that are once again back in the news.

We begin with the breaking-est of breaking news, the new Senate version of the AHCA that literally just got released right before the show was scheduled to record.  What’s in the new bill?  Listen and find out!

After that, our main segment goes through the recent Supreme Court victory for our friend Simon Tam of the Slants, who previewed this case for us way back on Episode 33.  Find out what the ruling means and how it might impact future issues (like a certain D.C.-area football team).

After that, we take a look at the Supreme Court’s recent grant of certiorari in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case we discussed back in Episode 54.  What’s the prognosis for whether the Supreme Court will finally do something about partisan gerrymandering?  Listen and find out!

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas (and Denise) Take the Bar Exam Question #29, in which next week’s guest, Denise Howell, joins the guys for a preview and plays along.  Remember that you too can 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).  Answers, as always, drop on Tuesday.

Recent Appearances

None.  But if you’re on the East Coast, you should check out Andrew’s speech to the Lehigh Valley Skeptics on “Skepticism and the Law” on July 2, 2017 at 11 am by clicking here.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Flash back to our first discussion with Simon Tam of the Slants on Episode 33, and keep groovin’ with gerrymandering by listening to Episode 54.
  2. This is the text of the Senate’s version of the AHCA.
  3. MACPAC’s analysis of the ACA referenced on the show is here.
  4. This table shows the DSH allotment by state for 2016.
  5. Here is the full text of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Matal v. Tam (formerly Lee v. Tam).
  6. Finally, here’s the text of the Cooper v. Harris decision we discussed on Episode 72 that gives Andrew some cause for concern.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

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OA79: The Thomas Was Right Show! (Featuring Climate Change and the Paris Accords)

In this episode, Thomas and Andrew break down the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement regarding climate change.

First, however, we celebrate Thomas being prescient in taking an in-depth look at the Ninth Circuit’s rather surprising decision regarding Trump’s EO 13780, the so-called “Muslim Ban.”

In the main segment, Andrew and Thomas answer some questions and bust some myths regarding the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.  Can Trump do that?  Can the states pick up the slack?  Is there one weird trick that will solve climate change?  The answers may surprise you.

After that, Andrew tackles a fun question from patron Myk Dowling about disclaimers.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #28, which involved a pizza joint defaming a nearby burger hut.  Can Thomas start a new, 2-game winning streak?  Listen and find out!  And, as always, we’ll release a new #TTTBE question this Friday and answer that question the following Tuesday.  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), and don’t forget that patrons who support us at any level get early access to the answers (and usually a fun post analyzing the question in more detail).

Recent Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 390 of This Week in Law, throwin’ down the devil horns.  Give it a listen!

Show Notes & Links

  1. You can read the Ninth Circuit’s recent opinion here.
  2. This is the text of Executive Order 13780.
  3. This is the text of Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979), the odd case on whether a President can unilaterally withdraw from a treaty.
  4. This is a link to NASA’s data regarding climate change.
  5. And this is the text of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the U.S. was a signatory in 1992.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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OA78: Jeff Sessions, “Preemptive Executive Privilege,” & More on Emoluments

If it’s Friday, it’s a current events episode, and if it’s current events, we’re probably talking about Donald Trump.

We begin, however, with Breakin’ Down the Law, in which Andrew answers the question raised by every single person in the universe this week:  can Jeff Sessions really do that?

In our main segment, we look at the recent emoluments lawsuit brought by the Attorneys General for Maryland and Washington DC.

After that, Yodel Mountain returns with a look at the Washington Post’s breaking news that Donald Trump is under investigation by the FBI, as well as the GOP’s purported talking points as to why this is no big deal.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #28 about a malicious pizza store owner.  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)!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was a guest on today’s (6/16/2017) episode of This Week in Law, as well as on Episode 24 of the Scenic City Skeptics show.  Check ’em out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed obstruction of justice in Episode #70, and analyzed the status of Executive Order 13780 in Episode #51.
  2. You can read the text of U.S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) here.
  3. Here is a link to the Maryland/DC complaint against Trump.
  4. And here is a link to Trump’s motion to dismiss the CREW lawsuit.
  5. This is the Washington Post story breaking news of the investigation by the FBI into Trump.
  6. Here are the ostensible (and terrible) GOP “talking points” about the investigation.
  7. And this is the text of the Rosenstein order appointing Mueller as special counsel.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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OA77: Oh No Ross and Carrie (and Matthew!)

In this episode, Thomas and Andrew talk to the co-host of one of their favorite podcasts, Oh No Ross and Carrie, along with the show’s lawyer, Matthew Strugar — proving once and for all that other podcasts need lawyers, too.

First, however, Andrew breaks down a recent viral story about whether Donald Trump’s Twitter account can be a “designated public forum,” a term our listeners should remember from Episode #73’s discussion with Travis Wester.

In the main segment, Carrie Poppy sits down for a fun and wide-ranging interview about her job and the potential legal perils that stem from investigating pseudoscience, the paranormal, and potentially dangerous religious cults.

After that, the much-beloved “Are You A Cop?” segment returns with a question from listener Brian Babcock about how to deal with standard-form contracts.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #27, which was a complicated fact pattern involving drunk driving, punitive damages, insurance limits, and cross-examination.  Did Thomas break his streak?  Listen and find out.  And, as always, we’ll release a new #TTTBE question this Friday, and, as always, answer that question the following Tuesday.  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), and don’t forget that patrons who support us at any level get early access to the answers (and usually a fun post analyzing the question in more detail).

Recent Appearances:

Andrew was just a guest on Episode #84 of the Cellar Door Skeptics Podcast; give it a listen here.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the Oh No Ross and Carrie podcast!
  2. This is the link to Matthew Strugar’s law firm in California.
  3. If you want to brush up on the concept of a “designated public forum,” you can revisit our discussion with Travis Wester in Episode #73 by clicking here.
  4. Here is the text of the Knight First Amendment Institute’s letter to Donald Trump regarding Twitter.
  5. …and here is the text of Davison v. Loudon County, 2017 WL 58294 (E.D. Va. Jan. 4, 2017), the case cited in the footnotes.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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OA76: “I Hope” James Comey’s Senate Testimony Shows Obstruction of Justice

If it’s Friday, it’s a current events episode, and if it’s current events, we’re probably talking about Donald Trump.

We begin, however, with the second installment of a hopefully infrequent segment about stuff Andrew gets wrong.  In this case, it’s actually two things.  First, Andrew clarifies the terminology related to immunity, and second, Andrew admits to falling for a hoax (!)

In our main segment, we look at James Comey’s testimony before the Senate regarding his firing.  How far up Yodel Mountain does this take us?  Listen and find out!

After that, fan favorite Breakin’ Down the Law returns with an analysis of what’s going on with the Trump Administration’s appeal of Executive Order 13780, the so-called “Muslim Ban,” which we last discussed in Episode #51.

Finally, we end with a brand new (and tricky) Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #27 about the admissibility of a question on cross-examination regarding the availability of insurance proceeds.  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)!

Recent Appearances:

Andrew was a recent guest on Episode #84 of the Cellar Door Skeptics podcast; give it a listen.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed obstruction of justice in Episode #70, and analyzed the status of Executive Order 13780 in Episode #51.
  2. Snopes debunked the Berkeley Breathed letter here.
  3. The relevant obstruction statutes are 18 U.S.C § 1501 et seq.
  4. The two cases Andrew found that involve valid prosecutions for obstruction of justice where the defendant used the “I hope” construction in threatening a witness are U.S. v. Bedoy, 827 F.3d 495 (5th Cir. 2016) and U.S. v. McDonald, 521 F.3d 975 (8th Cir. 2008).
  5. This is the text of Executive Order 13780.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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