OA280: Abortion Rights Under Assault

Today’s episode takes an in-depth look at the recent abortion bans passed in Georgia and Alabama, breaking down exactly what these laws say (and don’t say!) to help you sort through the panic from the actual news. It’s not always a pleasant trip, but it’s a journey worth taking to figure out exactly what’s at stake.

We begin, however, with a listener question about abortion — and specifically, about whether the federal government can preemptively prevent the states from doing the kinds of things we talked about back in Episode 276. Find out why Andrew thinks the conservative Supreme Court isn’t likely to uphold the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting states from recognizing abortion rights.

After that, it’s time for a deep dive in to the very confusing Georgia statute , HB 481. Exactly what does this bill do (and not do), and how scared should you be? Listen and find out.

And if that’s not enough, we also walk you through the more straightforward (but still terrifying) Alabama statute, HB 314. Is it true that the bill fails to exempt rape victims? (Yes.) Is there anything to mitigate how awful this bill is? (Sort of.)

After all that, it’s time to find out the answer to TTTBE #126 about a man who shoots a would-be assailant three times, including once after the assailant is lying on the ground and whimpering. What kind of crime could this be? Listen and find out!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed the rise of state-level constitutional protections to the right to choose back in Episode 276.
  2. You can check out Georgia HB 481 and Alabama HB 314 to read these bills for yourself.




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OA279: Deutsche Wanna Loan?

Today’s episode breaks down everything you need to know about the pending Trump v. Deutsche Bank lawsuit over the pending Congressional subpoenas for Donald Trump’s (and Don Jr.’s, and Eric’s, and Ivanka’s, and the Trump Organization’s) financial records. Why is Trump suing Deutsche Bank, and what’s going to happen? Find out why Andrew is still optimistic!

We begin, however, with the breaking news that Trump has pardoned Conrad Black. Who is he? Should this be a scandal? (Yes.) Will it be? (No.) And is Conrad Black a gigantic racist? (Guess.)

Then, it’s time for the main segment about Trump v. Deutsche Bank. We talk about the unique legal standard in the Second Circuit that gives the Trump legal team a legitimate thread by which to argue for their injunction preventing Deutsche Bank from disclosing Trump’s financial records to the House Committee.

Then, it’s time to answer a listener question from Rob Bate about conspiracy, obstruction, and the Mueller Report.

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #126 involving whether shooting a would-be assailant who has broken off her attack is homicide, and if so, what kind.

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here’s a link to Conrad Black’s disgusting “Who Was Really At Fault In Charlottesville?” essay.
  2. Check out the Wikipedia entry on Michael McFaul.
  3. And his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.
  4. Here are the Trump v. Deutsche Bank documents
    -The Complaint
    -Trump’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
    -Deutsche Bank’s statement
    -The House Committee’s Opposition
    -Trump’s reply memorandum
  5. We cited Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. v. VCG Special Opportunities Master Fund Ltd., 598 F.3d 30 (2010) for the proposition that the 2nd Circuit recognizes an alternative test.
  6. And, of course, credit for the fabulous “Deutsche Wanna Loan?” goes to our friends at Mueller, She Wrote

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA278: The Founding Myth (w/guest Andrew Seidel)

Today’s episode features a long-form interview with one of our favorite recurring guests, Andrew Seidel of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He’s on to discuss his just-released book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American.

Because Andrew, Andrew, and Thomas could easily talk for a full hour (and then some)… why, that’s exactly what they do. We hold Andrew Seidel’s feet to the fire on the threat that Christian Nationalism poses to the U.S. judicial system, including an in-depth discussion of the future of the Establishment Clause. And if you haven’t heard of “Project Blitz,” you will after this interview. You don’t want to miss it!

After all that, it’s time for the answer to Thomas (& Andrew) Take the Bar Exam Question #125 on the admissibility of prior bad acts evidence. Can the prosecutor introduce evidence of the “Ol’ Switcheroo” on cross-examination? Listen and find out!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 194 of God Awful Movies, reviewing the Law’d Awful Movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the news about Matt Gaetz’s investigation in the Tampa Bay Times.
  2. If you love old-timey law review articles, this University of Pennsylvania Law Review one about Congress’s inherent sanctions power from 1925 is pretty fun! Or, if you’d rather something from this millennium, check out the 2007 Chafetz article we discuss on the show.
  3. The crime Bill Barr has committed is a violation of 2 U.S.C. § 192.
  4. We discuss how this exact same scenario has already played out before in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F.Supp.2d 53 (2008).
  5. AAG Boyd cited this 1982 Reagan memo, but conveniently forgot to cite this 1984 OLC opinion that definitively shows he’s full of it.
  6. Finally, we first discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference written by Sen. Burr back in Episode 190.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA277: The Republican Civil War

Today’s episode breaks down everything you need to know about what’s going to happen with the House Judiciary Committee’s vote to recommend holding Bill Barr in contempt of Congress. Is this all going to go nowhere in a Trump-dominated executive and a right-wing judiciary? Find out why Andrew’s optimistic, and why he calls the underlying dynamic the coming Republican Civil War! All that and we revisit the Republican Andrew called the “key to the apex of Yodel Mountain” over a year ago!

We begin, however, with a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner: you did it! Opening Arguments listeners opened up bar complaints with the Florida Bar about Congressman and nasty little troll Matt Gaetz, and now he faces a state bar disciplinary proceeding.

He’s not the only one, either; we got breaking news today that Paulie Manafort has indeed been disbarred by the District of Columbia!

During the main segment, we break down (1) the contempt recommendation by the House Judiciary committee and exactly what is going to happen next; (2) what the House’s “inherent sanctions” powers are, and whether they can really sic the Sergeant-at-Arms on Bill Barr (hint: yes!); (3) assertions of executive privilege; and (4) the Republican Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. Is Richard Burr (R-NC) the next In Rod We Trust? Listen and find out… and brace yourself for the coming Republican Civil War!

After all that, it’s time for a Thomas Takes the Bar Exam featuring special guest Andrew Seidel. Together, the two sit in for an evidence question about the admissibility of prior bad acts. Brush up on your “Ol’ Switcheroo” law and play along with us for #TTTBE!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 194 of God Awful Movies, reviewing the Law’d Awful Movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the news about Matt Gaetz’s investigation in the Tampa Bay Times.
  2. If you love old-timey law review articles, this University of Pennsylvania Law Review one about Congress’s inherent sanctions power from 1925 is pretty fun! Or, if you’d rather something from this millennium, check out the 2007 Chafetz article we discuss on the show.
  3. The crime Bill Barr has committed is a violation of 2 U.S.C. § 192.
  4. We discuss how this exact same scenario has already played out before in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F.Supp.2d 53 (2008).
  5. AAG Boyd cited this 1982 Reagan memo, but conveniently forgot to cite this 1984 OLC opinion that definitively shows he’s full of it.
  6. Finally, we first discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference written by Sen. Burr back in Episode 190.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA276: Did Kansas Really Show Us The Way Forward on Abortion Rights?

Today’s episode features an in-depth analysis of Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt, a recent decision out of the Kansas Supreme Court holding that — whatever the U.S. Supreme Court does — the Kansas state constitution protects a woman’s right to choose. Join us to understand how this decision is important not only for Kansans but for all of us as we deal with the challenges created by the increasingly Trump-ified federal bench.

We begin, however, with a brief update as to the status of the Jeffrey Epstein plea deal that’s been questioned by a recent ruling in Florida. We first covered this story in Episode 259.

After that, it’s time for fan-favorite “Are You A Cop?” combined with a listener question about whether (and how much) “corporations are people, my friend.”

Then, it’s time for the main breakdown of Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt, with brief stopovers in Alabama (to discuss Bill 314), a prediction on the future of Roe v. Wade before this Supreme Court, and a full breakdown of the Kansas opinion and why it matters.

After all that, it’s time for yet another listener question, this time about the dissent in Hodes, what it means, and why the court spent so much time talking about the police power of the state, John Locke, and natural law. Confused? You won’t be, after listening to this segment.

And as if that wasn’t enough, after all that, it’s time for the answer to TTTBE #124 about Decomposing Snail Soda(TM) (“It’s Maddeningly Addictive”). Find out if Thomas got this question right!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 194 of God Awful Movies, reviewing the Law’d Awful Movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the news about Matt Gaetz’s investigation in the Tampa Bay Times.
  2. If you love old-timey law review articles, this University of Pennsylvania Law Review one about Congress’s inherent sanctions power from 1925 is pretty fun! Or, if you’d rather something from this millennium, check out the 2007 Chafetz article we discuss on the show.
  3. The crime Bill Barr has committed is a violation of 2 U.S.C. § 192.
  4. We discuss how this exact same scenario has already played out before in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F.Supp.2d 53 (2008).
  5. AAG Boyd cited this 1982 Reagan memo, but conveniently forgot to cite this 1984 OLC opinion that definitively shows he’s full of it.
  6. Finally, we first discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference written by Sen. Burr back in Episode 190.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA275: Yes, Bill Barr Perjured Himself

Today’s episode covers everything you need to know about Bill Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee (and his refusal to testify before the House). Has he perjured himself? (Yes.) Is there a reasonable defense of Barr? (No.) What’s next? Listen and find out!

Also, don’t forget to show up for our monthly LIVE Q&A on our YouTube channel this Sunday, May 5th at 6 pm Eastern / 3 pm Pacific!

We begin today’s show, however, with a few Andrew Was Wrongs and one Andrew Was Right. Wrong? Andrew used “fulcrum” when he should have used “center of gravity,” and it led to this amazing listener graphic explaining the difference. Also, Andrew relied upon a mislabeled graph in a complaint in Episode 273; technically, that’s someone else who was wrong first, but hey.

But Andrew was definitely RIGHT about the RNC platform, and now we have even more evidence to confirm it — this time in the form of the testimony of J.D. Gordon to Mueller’s team of investigators. And we break that down for you (because of course we do!).

Then, it’s time to delve into everything we know about Bill Barr’s perjure-tastic trip before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Find out why Andrew thinks Barr isn’t going to last, and why he definitely committed perjury. Oh, and figure out what Rule 6(e) is — and why Barr is lying about that, too.

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam #124… this time about Decomposing Snail Cola. Decomposing Snail Cola: It’s the Only One With Decomposing Snails!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 194 of God Awful Movies, reviewing the Law’d Awful Movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the news about Matt Gaetz’s investigation in the Tampa Bay Times.
  2. If you love old-timey law review articles, this University of Pennsylvania Law Review one about Congress’s inherent sanctions power from 1925 is pretty fun! Or, if you’d rather something from this millennium, check out the 2007 Chafetz article we discuss on the show.
  3. The crime Bill Barr has committed is a violation of 2 U.S.C. § 192.
  4. We discuss how this exact same scenario has already played out before in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F.Supp.2d 53 (2008).
  5. AAG Boyd cited this 1982 Reagan memo, but conveniently forgot to cite this 1984 OLC opinion that definitively shows he’s full of it.
  6. Finally, we first discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference written by Sen. Burr back in Episode 190.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA274: Arguing Before the Supreme Court (with Monica Miller)

Today’s episode features an in-depth interview with Monica Miller, counsel for the American Humanist Association and (we think!) the second-youngest person ever to argue before the Supreme Court! Just last month, Monica argued the AHA’s position in Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. American Humanist Association before the Supreme Court, and we get to learn all sort of amazing behind-the-scenes information about the case.

We spend the full hour with Monica Miller and learn how the AHA came to take this case, the roller-coaster-highs-and-lows of prevailing in the Fourth Circuit only to see it get taken up by a very conservative SCOTUS, and you get Monica’s prediction as to how she thinks the Court might rule… as well as which members of the Court’s conservative bloc were receptive to her arguments. Along the way, you’ll also learn exactly how Monica got ready for her big day!

After that, it’s time for the answer to T(&M)TTBE #123, the dreaded real property question involving the subsequent sale of property, the doctrine of merger, and… well, let’s just say this was a hard one! Did anyone get it right? You’ll just have to listen and find out.

Appearances
None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed the Bladensburg cross case in Episode 256.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA273: Sears, Steve Mnuchin & “The Producers”

Today’s episode features a deep dive into a just-filed lawsuit by Sears against its CEO, Eddie Lampert, and certain directors, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The lawsuit alleges that Eddie & Steve managed to wreck not one but two long-standing American institutions. How? Why? And what does any of this have to do with one of the best comedies of all time, The Producers? Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a very brief Andrew Was Wrong malapropism in which he confused a journalist with a philosopher. (There’s a comedy setup in there somewhere.)

Then, it’s time for the main segment, which breaks down the background on Mnuchin, especially how he teamed up with billionaire Eddie Lampert, and then how the two of them managed to turn less than a billion dollars into full ownership of both Kmart and Sears, each of which had eight-figure valuations at the time. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you can find out how Lampert (allegedly) ripped off the public on Mnuchin’s watch, all while enriching himself. Drain the Swamp! You’ll also learn all about The Producers-style fraud. You can make more money with a flop than with a hit!

After all that, it’s time for the glorious return of Thomas Takes the Bar Exam — this time, featuring guest Monica Miller, who will be joining us for a full-length interview next episode.   TTTBE question #123, however, is a dreaded real property question…will anyone be able to get it right?? 

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the Sears lawsuit, and here to check out Mnuchin’s Wikipedia page.
  2. This page contains a good explanation of Delaware corporate law regarding duty of loyalty.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA272: Impeachment, Redactions, and Russia

Today’s episode brings you a trio of stories about the changing political landscape in the wake of the release of the [REDACTED] Mueller report; namely (1) will the President be impeached (and if so, can the Senate block the impeachment), (2) will we see a full, unredacted version of the report, and (3) just how pro-Russia is this administration, anyway?

We begin with a question asked by listener Thomas S. as to whether Mitch McConnell can… well, Mitch McConnell any impeachment hearings. And while the answer may not surprise you, we think you’ll want to know why.

Then, we move on to another listener question, this one about whether the Trump campaign actually did soften language in the GOP platform related to Russia. Was that story actually “debunked?” (No.) We debunk the debunking for your edification!

After that, it’s time for a two-fer of embedded stories that bear on the question of redactions. We look briefly at McKeever v. Barr and evaluate whether that will prevent the ultimate release of the full Mueller Report as well as check in on developments in a FOIA case.

No #TTTBE this week!

Appearances
None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. You can read the Lawfareblog article that inspired Thomas S.’s question on impeachment.
  2. This is the full text of the 2016 Republican platform.
  3. Click here to read the Byron York article in the Washington Examiner that we debunk; here to read the original Washington Post article by Josh Rogin; and here to read the Politifact transcript of the Trump interview.
  4. Finally, check out McKeever v. Barr.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA271: Dis-Barred (?) – The Mueller Report

Today, we break down the just-released [REDACTED] Mueller report. The top-line analysis? This is much worse than we anticipated in Episode 264. This report may not be the end of the road for Trump — but it almost certainly is the end of the road for Attorney General William Barr.

That’s it! We spend nearly 90 minutes delving through the minutiae and correcting the egregious misquotations in Barr’s now-laughable “summary” of the report.

Show Notes & Links

1. You can click here to read the full Mueller report, and here for the searchable PDF.

2. We first covered Barr’s summary in Episode 264, and you can read his laughably dishonest letter again right here. Oh, and we followed up with Prof. Randall Eliason in Episode 265.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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