OA65: How “Net Neutrality” Became “Selling the Internet” – A Choose-Your-Own Adventure, Part 2 (Plus Ann Coulter!)

In this episode, Thomas continues his choose-your-own-adventure in which we discover how two well-meaning efforts to protect privacy on the Internet somehow left us with the “Selling The Internet” Bill, S.J.R. 34.  We also tackle the wackiest of wacky lawsuits, starring everyone’s favorite Internet troll, Ann Coulter.

First, though, Andrew assigns homework to the listeners for the very first time, previewing what will be an in-depth discussion of the recent Federal Court order granting injunctive relief and blocking President Trump’s “Sanctuary Cities” executive order.

Then, we return to our story from Friday’s show, unraveling the connections between the FCC, the FTC, Internet Privacy, and the Republican Congress.

After that, we discuss the Berkeley College Republicans’ lawsuit against the school in connection with Milo Yiannopolous and Ann Coulter.  Is this lawsuit as hilarious as it seems?  (Yes.  Yes it is.)

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas (and Phil!) Take the Bar Exam Question #21 about a state choosing first to recognize gay marriage and then trying to repeal it via a ballot initiative.  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 209 of the Phil Ferguson Show; please give it a listen!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here is a link to the decision by the Northern District of California enjoining the enforcement of EO 13768 that Andrew assigned as homework.
  2. This is the single sentence text of S.J.R. 34.
  3. And these are the 2016 FCC Internet Privacy rules (all 399 pages!) that S.J.R. 34 overturned.
  4. This is the earlier 2010 Open Internet Order promulgated by the FCC…
  5. …and this is Verizon v. FCC, 740 F.3d 623 (D.C. Cir. 2014), which struck down those rules.
  6. And this is the case of FTC v. AT&T Mobility, a 2016 decision from the 9th Circuit, discussed in depth in this episode.
  7. Finally, this is a link to the text of the Berkeley College Republican/Ann Coulter lawsuit, which is some truly hilarious reading.

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OA64: How “Net Neutrality” Became “Selling the Internet” – A Choose-Your-Own Adventure, Part 1

In this episode, Thomas begins a choose-your-own-adventure in which two well-meaning trains collide, producing the so-called “Selling The Internet” Bill, S.J.R. 34.  How did this happen?

First, though, Andrew revisits a very difficult TTTBE question (#18), and answers a question from long-standing friend of the show Eric Brewer about the differences between a corporation and an LLC.

In the main segment, Thomas gets to choose between the well-meaning FCC and the well-meaning FTC in boarding his doomed train.  Choose along with Thomas and figure out where we’re headed!

After that, Closed Arguments looks at the Fearless Girl statue and moral rights associated with copyright.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #21 about repealing gay marriage.  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 209 of the Phil Ferguson Show; please give it a listen!

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the single sentence text of S.J.R. 34.
  2. And these are the 2016 FCC Internet Privacy rules (all 399 pages!) that S.J.R. 34 overturned.
  3. This is the earlier 2010 Open Internet Order promulgated by the FCC…
  4. …and this is Verizon v. FCC, 740 F.3d 623 (D.C. Cir. 2014), which struck down those rules.  This is the case we discuss in depth in this part of the story.
  5. And, as a special hint to our listeners who read the show notes, Part 2 of this story airing next week will focus on the case of FTC v. AT&T Mobility, a 2016 decision from the 9th Circuit.

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OA63: Saving Money For College Is For Suckers! (with Phil Ferguson)

In this episode of Opening Arguments, Andrew and Thomas invite on Phil Ferguson, host of the cleverly-titled Phil Ferguson Show, to discuss why only suckers save money for college.

First, Andrew discusses the scuttlebutt surrounding whether Ivy Tech will appeal the decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech that the guys discussed in Episode 60.

After that, we look at the best(?) potential educational bill that might come before Donald Trump’s desk:  H.R. 529, which would make modest expansions to so-called “529” college savings plans.  This, of course, is to set up our “C” segment, in which the guys interview Phil Ferguson and find out what he really thinks of 529 plans in specific and saving for college in general.  How clickbaity is our episode title?  You’ll have to listen and find out!

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #20 about whether a law prohibiting hiring those undergoing drug treatment or with prior drug convictions would violate the equal protection clause.  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 also a guest on Episode 209 of the Phil Ferguson Show; please give it a listen!

Show Notes & Links

  1. So-called “529 plans” are governed by 26 U.S.C. § 529, which you can read here.
  2. You can see the text of H.R. 592 (no relation) by clicking this link as well as read the endorsement from The Hill here.

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OA62: The Supreme Court’s Hall of Shame

In this episode, Andrew goes through five of the worst, most embarrassing cases in Supreme Court history.

First, though, the guys tackle a question from Scott, who’s considering becoming a patron of the show (good!) but has some questions about a standard form indemnification clause in the Patreon agreement.

In the main segment, we look at the worst of the worst in Supreme Court history.  From the embarrassingly racist to the embarrassingly activist, come visit the Supreme Court’s “Hall of Shame” with Andrew and Thomas.

After that, fan favorite Breakin’ Down the Law returns with an examination of a new mandatory arbitration provision for civil cases in Cook County, Illinois.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #20.  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 209 of the Phil Ferguson Show; please give it a listen!

Show Notes & Links

The worst cases in Supreme Court history, in chronological order, are:

  1. Dred Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)
  2. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) (not discussed in this episode)
  3. Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905)
  4. Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)
  5. Korematsu v. US, 323 US 214 (1944)
  6. Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986); and, of course,
  7. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) (not discussed in this episode)

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OA61: Flyin’ the Friendly Skies & Newt Gingrich Still Has a Contract on America

In this episode of Opening Arguments, the guys look at both United Airlines and an obscure law from 1996 that could threaten the “administrative state” held in such disdain by our newest Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch.

First, of course, Andrew breaks down the legality of the recent decision by United Airlines to forcibly remove a passenger.  How badly is United going to get sued?  You know we deliver the goods.

Then, Andrew and Thomas discuss a little-known law passed in 1996 as part of the Republican Revolution and Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”:  the Congressional Review Act.  What is it, and why does it matter?  Listen and find out!

In the “C” segment, Andrew answers a question from his mom.  Really!

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #19 about diversity jurisdiction.  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 recently a guest on the Embrace the Void podcast, Episodes 5 and 6.  Listen and enjoy!

Show Notes & Links

  1. The Congressional Review Act is 5 U.S.C. § 802.
  2. …and the Brookings Institute study can be found here.
  3. Finally, you can read Todd Gaziano’s efforts to beef up the CRA here.

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OA60: Sex and Sexual Orientation

In this episode, we take a look at a landmark decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

First, though, we tackle a question from listener Justin Wilder who wants to know about serving a subpoena on Amazon for evidence in a civil case related to information that might be stored on your Echo.  We love that our listeners are becoming civil procedure geeks!

In the main segment, Andrew walks us through the landmark Hively decision and discusses what it means and what the likely future of the case will be.

After that, fan favorite Breakin’ Down the Law returns with an examination of South Dakota SB 149 which extends protections to adoption agencies in the state with (wait for it) sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #19 that asks about diversity jurisdiction in federal court between two companies.  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 just recorded a two-part episode of the Embrace the Void Podcast; you can (and should!) give Episode 5 a listen right here.

Show Notes & Links

  1. FRCP 45 governs subpoenas.
  2. This is the Supreme Court’s Opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.
  3. And here is the link to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
  4. This is the text of South Dakota SB 149, which allows adoption agencies to discriminate on the basis of a sincerely held religious or moral belief.

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OA59: Make America Great Again! OA Defends Trump

In this highly unlikely episode of Opening Arguments, the guys run through three segments in which they defend President Donald J. Trump.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction

First, listener T.Sp. asks about the just-invoked “nuclear option,” and whether that vote itself could have been filibustered, thus triggering an endless loop of filibusters…  Obviously the answer is no — but why?  We learn about some arcane Senate procedures and the guys conclude that the Democrats probably would have done the same thing if the situation were reversed.

In the main segment, Andrew and Thomas break down the recent use of force by President Trump in Syria.  Does it violate the Constitution?  The War Powers Act of 1973?  Some other law?  (No.)  Yet again, the guys defend President Trump.

In the “C” segment, our beloved Yodelin’ Trump returns and the guys break down a popular video by Robert Reich that lays out five grounds for impeaching Trump.  How good are they?  Hint: check out the title of this show.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #18 about a crazily unconstitutional law regarding clothing.  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 recently a guest on both the Embrace the Void podcast and The Phil Ferguson Show; links will go up when those shows release.

Show Notes & Links

  1. The War Powers Act of 1973 is 50 U.S.C. § 1541 et seq.
  2. …and the 60-day provision is found in section 1544.
  3. This is the document prepared by President Clinton’s lawyers defending the 1994 invasion of Haiti.
  4. Here is the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force post-9/11.

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OA58: What Football Can Teach Us About Jury Nullification, Antitrust, and Donald Trump – Part 2

 

Today’s episode is part two of a two-part series in which Thomas and Andrew walk through the short-lived history of the USFL, an alternative football league that ran into the bulldozer that is Donald J. Trump.  Along the way, we learn about jury nullification, antitrust law, and get some insight into Trump’s legal strategies that just might have some relevance today….

First, though, “Breakin’ Down the Law” defines “antitrust” in order to get you prepared to tackle the rest of our main story.  Afterwards, we answer a question from listener Eric Johnston, who wants to know what exactly “laches” and “estoppel” are.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #18 that asks about the Constitutionality of an oppressive new law restricting clothing.  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 just recorded a delightful and moderate discussion of the law of God’s Not Dead 2 with the hosts of the “Is This Reel Life?” podcast.

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the AmLaw article Andrew mentions in which lawyers second-guessed Donald Trump’s choice of litigation tactics way back in 2009.

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OA57: What Football Can Teach Us About Jury Nullification, Antitrust, and Donald Trump – Part 1

Today’s episode is part one of a two-part series in which Thomas and Andrew walk through the short-lived history of the USFL, an alternative football league that ran into the bulldozer that is Donald J. Trump.  Along the way, we learn about jury nullification, antitrust law, and get some insight into Trump’s legal strategies that just might have some relevance today….

First, though, “Breakin’ Down the Law” defines “jury nullification” in order to get you prepared to tackle our main story.  Afterwards, we answer a question from listener Collin Boots, who wants to know why Andrew was so dismissive of term limits back in Episode 54.

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #17 about selling a lemon of a used car in “as is” condition. 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 just recorded a delightful and moderate discussion of the law of God’s Not Dead 2 with the hosts of the “Is This Reel Life?” podcast.

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the AmLaw article Andrew mentions in which lawyers second-guessed Donald Trump’s choice of litigation tactics way back in 2009.
  2. And here is a link to U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995), in which the Court struck down state efforts to limit Congressional and Senate terms.

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OA56: Jury Secrecy and Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado

In today’s episode, we look at a recent Supreme Court decision that could have wide-ranging effects on future trials.

We begin, however, by “Breakin’ Down the Law” regarding House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes.  Did he just violate the law Republicans kept trying to insist applied to Hillary Clinton’s emails?  (Yes.)

In our main segment, we delve into a recent Supreme Court decision, Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, in which the Court held that a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial means that jurors must be free to report blatant racial bias in otherwise-private jury deliberations, even if the law says otherwise.  How the Court came down on this issue is also reflective of the split on the Supreme Court between the originalist justices and the mainstream ones.

Next, long-time friend of the show Eric Brewer returns with a question about felon voting rights.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #17 that asks about the common law behind “as is” used cars.  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 and Thomas were guests on Eiynah’s podcast, Polite Conversations, Panel Discussion #6 talking about liberals vs. conservatives on free speech.  Give it a listen!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here’s the story on Devin Nunes’s disclosures of confidential intelligence briefings to the press and to White House flacks.
  2. And this is the text of 18 U.S.C. § 793(f)(1), which is indeed the same statute Republicans sought to use against Hillary Clinton.  This counts as irony, right?
  3. And finally, this is the Supreme Court’s decision in Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado.

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