OA29: Cognitive Dissonance

It’s a two-episode week!  In this week’s Wednesday episode, we are joined by Tom & Cecil of the Cognitive Dissonance podcast for a discussion about freedom of speech and whether online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter ought to be considered “public spaces.”

We begin with some announcements about the schedule, including Thomas Takes the Bar Exam, which will remain a weekly feature once we move to our twice-per-week format in January.  So no new question today, but you will have a few extra days to answer TTTBE #3.

Then we take a look at the new Texas law requiring funereal services for aborted embryos and miscarriages, and Thomas takes a shot at analyzing the issue.  Is all his hard work studying for the Bar Exam paying off?  Listen and find out!

Finally, the show concludes with a discussion of the 1994 McDonalds “Hot Coffee” lawsuit, Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, as an example of legal myths gone awry.  What exactly happened in that case, and what does it say about whether we should have caps on punitive damages or other forms of “tort reform” in the U.S.?

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the Cognitive Dissonance podcast!
  2. Here are the actual fetal tissue rules promulgated by the Texas Health Services that require “interment” of “the products of spontaneous or induced human abortion.”
  3. A federal judge in the Western District of Texas recently issued a temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of the rules pending a preliminary injunction hearing to be held on January 3.
  4. Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S.Ct. 2292 (2016), provides some guidance as to how the Supreme Court might treat the Texas abortion rules.
  5. Here’s the CollegeHumor video on the McDonald’s “Hot Coffee” lawsuit.

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