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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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OA96: Understanding Charlottesville

Today’s special episode devotes all three segments to the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA.

First, the guys answer a question regarding the police declaration that the Unite the Right rally as an “unlawful gathering” right before the scheduled start time, illustrating the principles of time, place, and manner restrictions.

During the main segment, Andrew breaks down the law of hate speech and also explains the charges filed against the individual who drove his car into the protestors.

After that, Andrew answers another listener question, this one regarding Texas A&M’s decision to cancel a “White Lives Matter” rally in light of the tragedy in Charlottesville.

Finally, we end with an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #37 about the failure to timely pay on an installment contract.  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 #15 of the Right to Reason podcast, arguing politics and whether your vote can be a message.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Our discussion with Travis Wester regarding the Berkeley College Republicans lawsuit took place back in Opening Arguments Episode #73.  You might want to re-listen!
  2. This is a link to the Vox timeline of the events in Charlottesville.
  3. Here is Washington Post reporter Joe Heim’s Twitter feed, showing a picture of the heavily armed “citizens” attending the rally.
  4. This is the preliminary injunction ruling on the motion filed by Jason Kessler, organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally.
  5. The key case setting forth the principles of time, place & manner restrictions is Ward v. Rock Against Racism 491 U.S. 781 (1989).
  6. The “fire in a crowded theater” case is Schenck v. U.S., 249 U.S. 47 (1919) — give it a read and you’ll understand (and appreciate!) why it is no longer good law.
  7. The modern rule on hate speech stems from Brandenberg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).
  8. This is the DOJ’s list of hate crimes laws.
  9. Virginia’s second-degree murder statute is Code of VA § 18.2-32.
  10. You can read Texas A&M University’s statement cancelling the “White Lives Matter” protest scheduled for Sept. 11 here.
  11. You can also check out Andrew’s rockin’ 1980s case, Sable Communications v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989).

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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OA95: The Great SIO Crossover & We Defend Milo!

Today’s show is a companion to Episode 67 of Serious Inquiries Only regarding the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

We begin, however, with a question about progressivity and fines from listener Noah Lugeons.

In the main segment, Andrew tells the story of how Michael Dukakis, Slayer, and race-baiting by Newt Gingrich led to the worst aspects of the omnibus crime bill.

Next, the guys cover perhaps their most anticipated “Breakin’ Down the Law” ever:  defending Milo Yiannopoulos, along with the ACLU.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Take the Bar Exam Question #36 regarding defamation.  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 #15 of the Right to Reason podcast, arguing politics and whether your vote can be a message.

Show Notes & Links

  1. You should be listening to Serious Inquiries Only.
  2. This is the text of  the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
  3. This is the longitudinal Gallup study showing the last 80 years of support for the death penalty.
  4. And here is the draft of the lawsuit filed by the ACLU against WMATA on behalf of Milo, PETA, and a family planning company.

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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OA94: Geoff Blackwell, Trump’s Anti-Trans Tweets & the Google Manifesto

In today’s episode, we interview Geoffrey Blackwell from the American Atheists Legal Center.

First, the guys break down the recent lawsuit filed by two LGBTQ advocacy organizations challenging President Trump’s tweets regarding transgender service in the military.

During the main segment, we ask Geoff what the AALC does, what kinds of cases are on his plate, and whether Trinity Lutheran v. Comer is as bad as we think it is.

After that, Andrew answers a question from listener Thomas S. regarding Google’s firing of an employee who wrote a bizarre, 10-page anti-woman manifesto.

Finally, we end with an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #36 about defamation.  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. Give Geoff’s podcast, All Too Common Law, a listen!
  2. Here is a link to the Doe v. Trump lawsuit filed Aug. 9, 2017 challenging Trump’s tweets.
  3. This is the Slate piece calling the lawsuit “ingenious”; Andrew disagrees.
  4. And this is the (weird) Mattis internal DOD memo about “ethics” to which the guys refer during the show.
  5. Finally, this is the Google manifesto referred to during the “C” segment of the show.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

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