In this week’s episode, we look at some of the interesting details surrounding the intentional release of classified materials by Edward Snowden. In particular, we looked at the legacy of Snowden’s leaks, how they played out in the Second Circuit’s decision in ACLU v. Clapper, 785 F.3d 787 (2d Cir. 2015), and how they changed U.S. law. In true Opening Arguments fashion, we don’t tell you what to think about Snowden… but we do tell you his impact on our government and the legal ramifications of what Snowden did.
We also tackle two fun listener questions. One wants to know exactly how Andrew would go about defending the podcasts that made the phrase “puzzle in a thunderstorm” a household word while still maintaining decorum in court. (If you’re one of those listeners who just loves hearing Andrew say massively inappropriate words and phrases, you’ll love this episode.)
Our second question takes a serious look at the crucial phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.” What exactly does that mean? We tackle burdens of proof and the most important four words in criminal law.
In this week’s super-sized episode, we conclude our three-part role-playing experiment “You Be The Supreme Court,” using an actual case that is currently pending before the Court: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley.
Last time, we went through the State of Missouri Department of Natural Resources’s response brief. This week, we look at the Petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church’s reply brief, which is the final exchange before the Court hears oral argument and renders an opinion.
In our opening segment, we tackle a pair of viral election what-ifs, examining whether Bernie Sanders (or Evan McMullin) could really win the Presidency if they manage to win one state. (Hint: there’s a reason we tackled this in “Closed Arguments”!) In our closing segment, Andrew predicts how the Supreme Court will actually rule in the case.
Be sure to turn in next week when we tackle another famous Espionage Act case — Edward Snowden!
In this week’s episode, we return to our little role-playing experiment “You Be The Supreme Court,” using an actual case that is currently pending before the Court: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley.
Last time, we went through the Petitioner’s brief seeking to overturn the lower court’s decision to deny Trinity Lutheran Church the opportunity to participate in a Missouri program that recycles tires into playground surfaces. This week, we look at Missouri’s response and find out if the Petitioner’s case holds water.
In our weekly listener question segment, we answer a question from David in Kentucky, who wants to know why defendants don’t simply counterclaim against plaintiffs for attorneys’ fees. Andrew actually answers this question, and along the way provides some helpful distinctions between the American model and the so-called European model of civil lawsuits.
Finally, in our closing segment, “Closed Arguments” returns with a First Amendment lawsuit brought by (legal) teenage strippers who are ready to fight for their First Amendment rights. (Don’t worry, this episode is still safe for work.)
Be sure to turn in next week for Part 3 of “You Be The Supreme Court!” when Trinity gets another crack in their reply brief, and we’ll evaluate where things stand as this case goes before the Supreme Court this Fall Term!
In this week’s bonus episode, we tackle the breaking legal question of whether the RNC can legally replace Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for President, and if so, what the consequences would be. You don’t want to miss this episode!
In our opening segment, we bring back a classic “Breakin’ (Down) the Law” by examining whether President Trump (unlikely as that may seem) can legally ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. The answer may surprise you!
Finally, in our closing segment, we tackle a listener question from Daniel Andrew Duncan, who asks us to explain why you keep hearing that laws require 60 votes instead of a simple majority.
Show Notes & Links
The relevant law that permits Trump to ban all Muslims from emigrating into the US is 8 USC § 1182(f).
In this week’s episode, we tackle a breaking legal issue: is Andrew’s old law school buddy Ted Cruz correct that the U.S. government just “gave away the Internet?” (Hint: Ted Cruz is never right about anything.) We walk you through everything you could possibly want to know about #savetheinternet.
(If you’re looking for Part 2 of “You Be The Supreme Court,” don’t worry; it’ll be back next Wednesday.)
In our intro segment, we discuss exactly what it means to get a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. And in our weekly listener question segment, we (sort of) tackle Sean Zipperer’s question about FISA courts and standing.
So if you enjoy crazy hashtag conspiracies on Twitter, or if you just like hearing more dirt on Ted Cruz, either way we’re certain you’ll love this week’s Opening Arguments!
In this episode, we try something a little bit different. Instead of simply analyzing a case, we let you play the role of Supreme Court Justice working your way through a difficult case that is currently pending before the Court: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley.
You’ll learn what kind of cases make their way to the Supreme Court, and, in this episode, take a look at the Petitioner’s brief seeking to overturn the lower court’s decision to deny Trinity Lutheran Church the opportunity to participate in a Missouri program that recycles tires into playground surfaces.
In our opening segment, we answer a listener question about age being a protected class. In our closing segment, “Closed Argument” returns with a Wyoming judge who’d like to remain a judge but not do her job. (That’s a bad thing.)
Be sure to turn in next week for Part 2 of “You Be The Supreme Court!” when we turn to the state’s case.
In this episode, we delve — at long last, and just in time for the first Presidential debate — into the question of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
In particular, we answer the question: “did Hillary Clinton receive preferential treatment” when the government declined to indict her on the facts determined by the FBI?
Our answer may surprise you!
In our opening segment, we tackle a follow-up question from Eric Brewer regarding legal fees, and get more practical tips from Andrew. And in our closing segment, fan favorite “Closed Argument” returns with a novel (but wrong) argument about the Third Amendment.
In this episode, we delve into the wacky world of tax protesters and “sovereign citizens,” people who believe that the legal world is a magical place filled with secret code words that, if invoked properly, can force the Illuminati-run courts to admit you into the secret chamber where nobody has to pay their taxes or be held responsible for anything.
In our opening segment, we tackle a serious question from Matthew Maxon, who asks why lawyer fees are so damn expensive. In answering (and also not answering) the question, Andrew gives us some practical tips on how best to choose an attorney and how to avoid paying too much for too little in services.
Finally, in our closing segment, we discuss Vulgarity for Charity 2, which brings together your favorite podcasters to raise money for Modest Needs.
You absolutely MUST watch this amazing video advising you how to “win” your case by mouthing a whole bunch of crazy that neither you nor the sitting judge is likely to understand.
Here’s a link to the Nonnie Chrystal v. Huntington Nat’l Bank decision we discuss, where you can see the delightful lower case and punctuation marks sovereign citizens use (unsucessfully) to evade jurisdiction. “Ambassador nonnie: chrystal”, indeed.
In this week’s hour-length episode, we finally conclude our three-part discussion of abortion and defending the jurisprudence behind the Supreme Court’s 1973 opinion in Roe v. Wade… only to leave you with another cliffhanger and a topic for a future show. (Bingo!)
Also, given our Patreon support, we’ll now be answering a viewer question every episode! In this episode, we go back to frequent supporter Eric Brewer, who asks “Is a lawyer obligated to tell his clients the hard truths?” Andrew, true to form, answers without really answering the question. Don’t you just hate lawyers??
Finally, in our closing segment, we crank up Judas Priest for Breakin’ (Down) the Law and answer the question “How does one amend the Constitution, anyway?” Of course, no answer is ever simple here on OA, and in so doing, Andrew takes us through the very strange history of the 27th Amendment, which took more than 200 years to become ratified by the states. Seriously!
The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, starting with the preamble, set forth the baseline of ethical rules that lawyers must follow in most jurisdictions. Read all about “zealous advocacy” if you enjoy reading model ethics rules.
Our discussion of abortion continues as we walk through the Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade and its aftermath.
In our first segment, “Closed Arguments” continues with a look at whether you should call your law professor by her first name. (No. No, you should not.) And in our closing segment, we answer a question from listener Ben Young III on courts as an agency for change and social justice.