OA363: Good News About Ex-Felons in Florida

Today’s episode brings you some good news from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals with respect to Florida’s effort to restore the vote to felons who have completed their sentences — and the Republicans’ ongoing efforts to stop it. We also revisit the emoluments clause litigations pending in two jurisdictions as well as tackle a novel question from one of our listeners. You won’t want to miss it!

We begin with a brief Andrew Was Wrong / Andrew Was Right segment regarding emoluments. Friend of the show Seth Barrett Tillman writes in to correct us on two procedural issues and also to venture an opinion that any future emoluments cases would have to be brought by both houses of Congress. Find out why Andrew disagrees and stands by his original recommendation in Episode 361 that Nancy Pelosi authorize a new vote by the full House of Representatives to re-file the case originally brought in Blumenthal v. Trump.

Then it’s time for our main segment on the breaking decision out of the 11th Circuit striking down the Florida legislature’s effort to gut Amendment 4 (which was meant to restore voting rights to ex-felons). Find out why the court ruled the way it did, what happens next, and why there may be cause for optimism in the Sunshine State!

After that, it’s time for a fascinating, clever, but (sadly) wrong suggestion from a listener regarding a writ of mandamus and the current logjam in Congress.

We end, as always, with #T3BE, and Thomas’s seven-question winning streak on the line regarding a contract and an unfortunate foreman who suffers an accident prior to starting his duties. Will Thomas prevail? Listen and find out! And don’t forget to play along by sharing out the show on social media!

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. In the opening segment, Andrew breaks down the Supreme Court case of Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill (2019).
  2. You’ll want to read the 11th Circuit’s opinion for yourself. We last discussed the Florida legislature’s efforts to gut Amendment 4 back in Episode 266.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA362: The Pardon Power (Or: Blagojevich, Milken, and Trump, Oh My!)

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into the history and contemporary use of the Presidential pardon power in light of President Trump’s decision to pardon and/or commute the sentences of 11 various and sundry monsters. We figure out exactly what the power was supposed to mean and what it means today.

We start off with some pre-show teasers.

After that, our “A” segment looks at the basics of the Nevada caucus, including the results you can expect the day after this show drops! What weird changes are taking place in Nevada? Listen and find out!

As a teaser, we talk about today’s sentencing by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Trump loyalist and Nixon afficionado Roger Stone. What does it mean, and does it portend a pardon for Stone? Listen and find out!

Then, it’s time for our deep dive into Presidential pardons and commutations. We begin with the language in the Constitution (Art. 2, Sec. 2, Cl. 1) and Federalist 74.

From there, we move on to the 19th and 20th century uses of pardons, looking at the literature and the relatively recent (and controversial — deservedly so) pardons by Bill Clinton on the very last day of his presidency. We end the segment, of course, by discussing the assorted and sundry monsters pardoned by Trump, including some names you literally won’t believe.

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. Check out Federalist 74 on pardons.
  2. In terms of contemporary pardon literature, we recommend Margaret Colgate Love’s “The Twilight of the Pardon Power” (2010) and Gregory C. Sisk‘s 2002 article “Suspending the Pardon Power During the Twilight of a Presidential Term.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA361: DC Sides with Trump in Emoluments Case?

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Today’s episode features a quick Andrew was… something segment about the ERA. Then we talk about the recent ruling in an emoluments case against Trump. Was it devastating or was it expected? Listen and find out! Then we tackle some great listener questions at the end.

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.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos!

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA360: The Tuesday Afternoon Massacre

Today’s episode covers the “Tuesday Afternoon Massacre,” in which Donald Trump’s tweets prompted his sycophantic Attorney General, William Barr, to overrule career prosecutors and file a “Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum” reversing the government’s position from literally the day before in order to urge leniency on convicted criminal Roger Stone.

We begin, however, with a less-than-exhaustive (but exhausting) recitation of the various ways Trump has abused his power — and yes, committed crimes — in the mere eight days since he was acquitted during impeachment. From firing Lt. Col. Vindman to placing Barr in charge of all future “political investigations,” Trump is consolidating his now-seemingly limitless power to run the U.S. government as his private fiefdom, with no consequences whatsoever.

Then it’s time for our main segment, where we explain just how corrupt the “Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum” really is. Along the way, we explain Pre-Sentencing Reports (PSRs), the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and much, much more!

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE that starts off as a question about hearsay before the curveball takes us down the question of witness impeachment. How will Thomas do? There’s only one way to find out! And remember that you can play along — just share out this episode on social media using the hashtag #T3BE and we’ll pick a winner!

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 check out the Barr memorandum on “political investigations” by clicking here, and Lindsey Graham’s confession here.
  2. Firing Lt. Col. Vindman is very clearly a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1513(e).
  3. We referenced Manafort’s nonsense “solitary confinement” claim that was refuted by the DOJ itself a year and a half ago in this filing.
  4. You can click here to read the DOJ’s initial sentencing memo, and click here to read the “Supplemental and Amended” memorandum filed the next day.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA359: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) & Baseball Law!

Make sure to check out our YouTube video and subscribe to the channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh69ZSnZzc4&t=1s

Today’s EXTRA LONG episode breaks down the recent ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by the State of Virginia. Since that’s the 38th state (more than 3/4ths of the states), and the ERA also passed the Senate and the House of Representatives by more than 2/3 margin… does that mean that the ERA is now part of the Constitution? Listen and find out!

We begin by diving right in to the ERA, starting with a lengthy deep dive into the history of the Amendment dating back to the early 1970s… which might make you nostalgic for the Republicans of old.

Then, we talk about the complicated issues underlying the passage of the ERA, including the strange case of the 27th Amendment which lay dormant for two centuries before getting ratified by 3/4ths of the states in 1992. And if the 27th Amendment can lay dormant for more than 200 years, why can’t the ERA? Well… we’ll tell you some of the reasons why (and why not).

After that, it’s time to break down the Houston Astros cheating scandal, where we talk about our listeners’ favorite topic: baseball law! Even if you’re not a fan of baseball, we think you’ll enjoy our breakdown.

And after all that, it’s time for the answer to #T3BE 165 involving jury instructions. Can Thomas keep his winning streak going?? There’s only one way to 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. To catch up: We discussed Amendment 27 way back in Episode 11, and the Munsingwear doctrine in Episode 181.
  2. The Supreme Court last weighed in on the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. The two cases we discuss in context are Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368 (1921) and Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939).
  3. Baseball law references: Check out the story in the Athletic quoting Mike Fiers that started it all; this CBS article on how Tyler Glasnow “was tipping his pitches”; the results of the MLB investigation; and the MLB Constitution.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA358: Can Trump Block New Yorkers From Global Entry? (No.)

Today’s episode takes place in the aftermath of the Trump impeachment sham. We take a minute to heap praise on Sen. Mitt Romney, who had the courage of his convictions, before delving into the obvious fact that this president is now empowered to seek revenge on his enemies, starting with the State of New York. Can he really prevent New Yorkers from using Global Entry?

Before that, we have to cover the latest in faux outrage, in which America’s Dumbest Congressman (TM), Matt Gaetz, teams up with Charlie Kirk (and others) to … insist that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had no right to rip up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union address. Can that possibly be the law? (No.)

Then, it’s time to settle in for a nice, long deep dive into New York’s Green Light Law, and how that led a Trump lackey to try and retaliate by asserting that New Yorkers will no longer be eligible for the Global Entry program at airports. Is it really possible that Trump’s Department of Homeland Security will carry out this threat? Do we have a legal recourse? Listen and find out!

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE on the preservation of objections for appeal. Can Thomas continue his winning streak? Would you do any better? If so, just share out this episode on social media using the hashtag #T3BE and we’ll pick a winner!

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. The operative law that Speaker Pelosi definitely didn’t violate — but President Trump has — is 18 U.S.C. § 2071.
  2. You can read all about New York SB1747B (the “Green Light Law”) as well as check out the fact sheet issued by the DMV.
  3. We break down the nonsense threat letter written by “Acting Director” of DHS, Chad Wolf.
  4. Legal references! Check out 8 U.S.C. § 1365b; 74 FR 59932; 77 FR 5690; and the final rule, 8 C.F.R. 235.12.
  5. Finally, in the political aftermath, we mentioned the pending bipartisan bill, House Res. HR 3675.
  6. Check out the latest blog post from Marcy Wheeler, which sets out her take on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and sets out the embedded legal documents.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA357: Ok, WTF Iowa?

We’re on for a bonus pod talking about the bungled Iowa Caucus.

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.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos!

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA356: The Future of Flynn (w/guest Marcy Wheeler)

Today’s episode features an in-depth interview with investigative journalist and prolific blogger Marcy Wheeler (a.k.a. emptywheel), who has a novel take on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who, as our listeners know, fired Covington & Burling, hired a loon, and has tried to withdraw his guilty plea. Marcy tells us what she thinks this means!

We begin with a bit of analysis and some kind words from a listener in light of the disappointing Senate vote to block witnesses that came down late Friday night. Yes, this means the impeachment is effectively over. No, it doesn’t mean we’re going to stop fighting.

After that, it’s time to tackle Marcy Wheeler’s take on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. We do a deep dive into the two most recent sentencing memoranda filed by the government in Flynn’s case while trying to figure out what this portends. You don’t want to miss it!

After all that, it’s time for the answer to #T3BE 164 involving a crazed roommate, an aborted murder, and exactly what you could charge him with.

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. Check out the latest blog post from Marcy Wheeler, which sets out her take on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and sets out the embedded legal documents.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA355: Honest Answers to Impeachment Questions

Today’s episode tackles six questions raised during the first day of cross-examination at the impeachment of President Trump and gives you the real answers, from a legal point of view, minus the spin (on both sides)! We tackle the standard for impeachment, past judges who have been impeached, the will of the Framers, and much, much more!

—–

Remember that Alan Dershowitz has challenged Andrew to a debate, and we’ve accepted! Only time will tell if Dersh chickens out.

Also: please do CALL YOUR SENATORS. The Senate switchboard is (202) 224-3121. They’ll connect you! For the Republicans, make this simple request (and be polite!):

“I’d like to speak with Senator ____’s office.  Hi, I’m _____, I’m a constituent, and I’m calling to ask Senator ____ to vote in favor of allowing the Senate to subpoena documents and witnesses in the impeachment trial.  I don’t know how we can decide if Trump is innocent or guilty without seeing all of the evidence.  Thank you.” 

For the Democrats, call them and thank them for their promise to vote for subpoenaing documents and witnesses. That’s all! It’s that easy and you can REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Thank you!

—–

We begin the show with a brief analysis of John Bolton’s forthcoming book and whether the White House can get a judicial injunction to block publication. (Hint: no.) In analyzing the question, we do a mini-deep-dive into prior restraint, what it means, and why it protects Bolton’s right to publish here.

Then it’s time for the question extravaganza, which covers not only the legal standard for impeachment but the arguments raised by both sides, the question of foreign interference in our elections, how one asserts executive privilege, and so much more! You won’t want to miss this!

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE about a crazed, icepick-wielding roommate with bad luck. Will Thomas be able to keep his win streak going? There’s only one way to find out! And remember that you too can play along on social media!

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. Don’t let Republicans misrepresent the articles of impeachment. Article I, Abuse of Power contains allegations that satisfy 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2) (the crime of bribery) and Art. II, Obstruction of Congress contains allegations that satisfy 18 U.S.C. § 1505 (the crime of obstruction of justice).
  2. We referenced Zephyr Teachout’s seminal 2009 law review article, “The Anti-Corruption Principle” as well as this analysis by Eisen, Painter, and Tribe on emoluments.
  3. Finally, check out Prof. Cunningham’s article on the original meaning of “misdemeanors” here.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA354: A Russian Asset Sues What?

Today’s episode breaks down the (spoiler: ridiculous) defamation lawsuit filed by Tulsi Gabbard against Hillary Clinton for calling her (sort of) a “Russian asset.” We do the patented Opening Arguments reading-the-complaint-backwards method (sort of) to figure out exactly what this means and what comes next.

We begin, however, with some instant response to the Saturday Republican “defense” of Trump in the impeachment proceedings. It’s… well, it’s a thing. Is Jay Sekulow still America’s dumbest lawyer? (Hint: yes.) Learn the arguments that they’re actually trying to advance, and why they’re not actually a thing.

And again: please don’t forget to CALL YOUR SENATOR! Remember, this is preposterously easy:

Call.  (202) 224-3121. 

CALL YOUR SENATORS, if you need help connecting to them, use @resistbot.   Text the word RESIST to the bot on Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, or to 50409 on SMS.  First time setup is quick, then calling both should take 3-5 minutes.

Here’s what you say:

“I’d like to speak with Senator ____’s office.  Hi, I’m _____, I’m a constituent, and I’m calling to ask Senator ____ to vote in favor of allowing the Senate to subpoena documents and witnesses in the impeachment trial.  I don’t know how we can decide if Trump is innocent or guilty without seeing all of the evidence.  Thank you.” 

Then, it’s time to break down everything about Tulsi Gabbard’s lawsuit. That means defamation law, Tulsi’s lawyers, the New York Times v. Sullivan standard, and much, much more. You’ll be surprised to learn that Tulsi Gabbard’s lawyers are… actual lawyers? But you’ll also be surprised to learn some facts about them. Don’t go all crazy conspiracy-theory on us, but… definitely listen.

After all that, it’s time for the answer to #T3BE 163 involving contemporaneous notes and whether they’re admissible as hearsay.

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. Check out Tulsi’s defamation lawsuit here.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and 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 finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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