OA297: Twitter, Emoluments & Labor Unions

Today’s episode features a grab-bag of stories that have been making the rounds, including the recent ruling out of the Second Circuit regarding Donald Trump’s use of Twitter, a setback for our buddy Brian Frosh’s efforts to enforce the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution, and an update on the real-word consequences of the Janus v. AFSCME decision we decry so much around here.

We begin with the Second Circuit’s ruling in Knight First Amendment Inst. v. Trump, which established that a government official may convert a social media platform such as Twitter into a “limited use public forum,” from which he may not block users on the basis of the political content of their speech — i.e., viewpoint discrimination. Almost no one understands this decision; we’ll make sure you’re one of the lucky ones who do!

Then, it’s time for a breakdown of the 4th Circuit’s ruling in In re Trump, which directs the lower court to dismiss the lawsuit (and pending discovery) against Trump in the lawsuit brought by Maryland and D.C. alleging violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses. Find out what this case is all about, whether the outcome is reasonable, and what’s next.

After that, it’s time for a quick look at the real-world implications of the Janus v. AFSCME decision allowing public-sector union employees to withhold a portion of their dues otherwise allocated for administrative duties under… some crazy right-wing theory that something something something, because Sam Alito knows diminishing the power of unions will hurt Democrats. But what else did that decision do? Listen and find out!

After all that, it’s time for the most controversial #TTTBE yet, in which we discover the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam (regarding larceny and robbery) … or do we? You won’t want to miss this one!


Andrew was a guest on the latest episode of the Left at the Valley podcast discussing abortion, as well as the most recent episode of Mueller, She Wrote talking.. well, pretty much everything!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the Second Circuit’s ruling in Knight First Amendment Inst. v. Trump (the Twitter case), and here to check out the Fourth Circuit’s ruling in In Re Trump (the Emoluments case).
  2. We first covered the emoluments case way back in Episode 78, and we interviewed Seth Barrett Tillman for his unique take in Episode 35 and Episode 36.
  3. We learned that bad stuff was coming in the emoluments litigation in Episode 239 when the 4th Circuit issued a stay of all discovery; you can read that stay order here.
  4. Finally, click here to read the LA Progressive article on Mark Janus and his conservative activism.

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