OA349: Bolton Will Testify; Iran, Soleimani & So Much More

Today’s episode takes on (some of) the two biggest pending news stories right now: (1) the U.S. assassination of Iranian Gen. Soleimani, and (2) the pending impeachment of President Trump. Oh, and we also cover a bunch of other things along the way, including the latest CNN settlement regarding the kid from Covington Catholic, and, well, you’ll just have to listen to find out everything!

We begin with a pre-show grab bag of mini-stories, including the “drain the swamp” news that outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry has joined the board of a holding company that owns a pipeline company. Is this 100% the same scandal as Burisma hiring Hunter Biden? (Hint: yes.)

Then, we delve into some disturbing background information on the Solemani strike and answer the first of many listener questions about it: was the strike arguably justified by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the 9/11 hijackers?

After that, it’s time for some Yodeling! We look at the current state of the House/Senate standoff on articles of impeachment and what the likely way forward will be. You’ll learn that former NSA Director John Bolton is willing to testify; the question is whether two more Republicans care about that at all.

Finally, we cover the latest news that CNN settled the defamation lawsuit brought by Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic relating to the video shared by CNN nearly a year ago.

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE 161 — this one is a constitutional law question regarding anti-discrimination laws. Can Thomas 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. Pre-show links: (a) Rick Perry rejoins the board of a pipeline company; (b) the Hofeller Files; and (c) the 5th Circuit’s decision on Trump’s stupid wall, which we last covered in Episodes 243 and 255.
  2. Iranian strike links: (a) Washington Post story on Pompeo masterminding the strike; (b) the Heather Timmons piece in Quartz warning us that Trump was listening to Rapture loons like Pence and Pompeo 18 months ago; and (c) Mary Lee Bigham-Bartling’s 2018 doctoral dissertation on Rapture theology.
  3. This is the 2001 AUMF, and you can also verify that Solemani is named in neither the 9/11 Commission Report nor the 2019 State Department Fact Sheet. We also quoted from a VOA News report on Sunnis “celebrating” the death of Solemani.
  4. On impeachment: the important thing is to click here to read John Bolton’s public decision to comply with a Senate subpoena.
  5. Finally, although you can’t read the CNN/Covington Catholic settlement, you can still watch both the original Sandmann video, and the updated video released a few days later.

-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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Transcript of OA348: The State of the Secular States, with Alison Gill

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 348.  I’m Thomas and you know what?  I know what day it is now!

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         I finally figured it out, I had to regroup.  How’s it going, Andrew?

Andrew:         It’s going fantastic, Thomas, how are you?

Thomas:         Ah, back on a regular schedule.  I’m so excited.

Andrew:         Oh yeah!

Thomas:         I’m also excited to have Alison Gill, Vice President of Legal and Policy over at American Atheists coming on today, she’s going to discuss the State of the States Report that they have put out all about religious freedom and religious freedom laws, which is to say oftentimes those are kind of named misleadingly.

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OA348: The State of the Secular States, with Alison Gill

Today’s show features an interview with American Atheists’ National Legal and Policy Director Alison Gill! American Atheists has just released their 2019 State of the Secular States Report, which you can find here. With how much the Trump Administration and the Christian Right have tried to enshrine conservative Christianity into our nation’s laws, American Atheists has worked hard to bring us this comprehensive report detailing which states have good laws in place to protect the separation of Church and State. Some states are doing better than others, and some states might surprise you! The report provides a great blueprint of action for how we can work to fight the theocrats on a state by state basis.

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

-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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Transcript of OA347: Pennhurst and the Voter Purge in Georgia

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 347, I’m Thomas, that’s Andrew.  How’re you doin’ Andrew?

Andrew:         I am fantastic, Thomas, how are you?  Did you have a good holiday?

Thomas:         Okay, I’ll bite.  What day is it?

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         I don’t – I have no idea.  We’re recording so I guess we both must think it’s Thursday to some extent, right?  But is it Thursday?

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         My kids were home yesterday, doesn’t that mean it’s Monday?  I don’t [Sighs]

Andrew:         I think “what day of the week is it?” is gonna replace “I keep writing 2019 on my checks”

Thomas:         [Laughs]  

Andrew:         Because nobody writes any checks anymore.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA347: Pennhurst and the Voter Purge in Georgia”

OA347: Pennhurst and the Voter Purge in Georgia

Today’s episode tackles a bunch of important developments in the new year — and not all of them are even Trump-related! Our main segment features a deep dive into the recent voter purge decision in Georgia and what that has to do with the Eleventh Amendment and the Pennhurst doctrine. We also tackle the latest scare meme regarding 2020 and update you on all the developments in pending litigation regarding Donald Trump. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride!

We begin with a quick off-the-white-board note about the “$100,000 verdict” in the Alex Jones defamation lawsuit that isn’t what it appears to be.

After that, we take a look at a recent meme that’s circulating regarding 2020. Should you be concerned about the legal implications of writing 1/1/20 on your documents?? Why or why not?

Then it’s time to check in on the status of several pending cases involving Congressional subpoenas, including a decision that’s being mischaracterized as a setback for impeachment (it isn’t), and a bunch of irons that are still in the fire.

Then it’s time for our deep dive into Pennhurst and the recent denial of injunctive relief to Stacey Abrams’s organization dedicated to restoring the voter rolls in 2020 in Georgia. Find out what happened & what’s going to happen next.

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE in the New Year: can a bakery tell a flaky flour supplier to go clownhorn itself? Don’t forget to play along via 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. Click here to read the New York Times article about Alex Jones’s lawsuit.
  2. The article we referenced on FOIA documents connected to OMB from Kate Brannen at Just Security is here.
  3. Filings: click here to read the Order of Dismissal in the Kupperman lawsuit, and here to read the Court’s Order denying injunctive relief in the voter registration lawsuit.
  4. Oh, and feel free to brush up on your Supreme Court decisions by reading Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89 (1984).

-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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Transcript of OA346: Faithless Electors (w/Lawrence Lessig)

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 346.  I’m Thomas, that’s Andrew, how’re you doin’ Andrew?

Andrew:         I am fantastic and I’m full of holiday cheer.  I had a lovely Christmas, I assume you did the same?

Thomas:         I assume I did too!

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         Tell you what, probably enjoyed several fine Italian bottles of wine from our new first annual wine exchange that we’re now doing between Andrew and I.

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         It was meant to be, I’m glad we’re doing this.

Andrew:         And I actually did crack open the now six year old aged eggnog that I’ve had in my fridge.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA346: Faithless Electors (w/Lawrence Lessig)”

OA346: Faithless Electors (w/Lawrence Lessig)

Today’s episode features an in-depth interview with Prof. Lawrence Lessig, counsel for the Colorado faithless electors, about the electoral college system.

We also go through the answer to last week’s #T3BE about the differences and similarities between burglary and larceny. You won’t want to miss it!

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

-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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Transcript of OA334: IVF, LIHEAP & the Russians

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Argument!  This is episode 334, I’m Thomas Smith, that’s Andrew Torrez!  How’re you doing Andrew?

Andrew:         I am doing fantastic Thomas!  We just recorded episode 35 of Law’d Awful Movies!

Thomas:         Ha-hah!

Andrew:         We watched the pilot of Bluff City Law and, you know, they’re all great.

Thomas:         [Laughs]

Andrew:         All of our Law’d Awful Movies are great, I dunno, I felt like this was a pretty good episode.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA334: IVF, LIHEAP & the Russians”

Transcript of OA345: How John Roberts Saved Christmas (Or: Everything You Need to Know About Nixon v. US)

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments.  Merry Christmas Andrew Torrez!  I’m Thomas Smith, how’s it going Andrew?

Andrew:         Merry Christmas Thomas Smith, happy holidays, I am doing fantastic.  How are you?

Thomas:         Oh, good!  I was visited by three ghosts in the night.

Andrew:         Okay?

Thomas:         And I’ve gotta turn myself around.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA345: How John Roberts Saved Christmas (Or: Everything You Need to Know About Nixon v. US)”

OA345: How John Roberts Saved Christmas (Or: Everything You Need to Know About Nixon v. US)

Happy Holidays, everyone! Today, we tackle a number of issues that managed to distract us over the holidays regarding impeachment and do a deep dive into Nixon v. US — all while weaving in a John-Roberts-as-the-Grinch-Who-Saved-the-Country-From-Mitch-McConnell story. Can it happen? Absolutely. Will it? We don’t know. Do you need to listen? ABSOLUTELY.

We begin, however, with the recent filing by the lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee suggesting it might “impeach Donald Trump again.” What on earth does that mean, and why is he taking this position? We explain it all.

Then it’s time for a brief foray into the debate between Noah Feldman, Laurence Tribe (and Jonathan Turley for good measure) as to whether Trump has really been impeached given that the House has not yet transmitted the articles to the Senate.

As we all know, that question is really academic — the real issue is: what power does Mitch McConnell have to transform impeachment into a sham proceeding? The answer lies in a 1993 Supreme Court case, Nixon v. US , 506 U.S. 224 — and it may just reside in Chief Justice John Roberts. You won’t want to miss this deep dive storytelling.

After all that, it’s time for a brand new #T3BE involving burglary, larceny, and the world’s angriest ex-employee. Remember to 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. Click here to read the House’s filing before the D.C. Circuit in the McGahn subpoena litigation.
  2. In the battle of expert turncoats, we have Noah Feldman arguing that Trump hasn’t been impeached, and Jonathan Turley arguing that he has.
  3. Finally, make sure you read Nixon v. U.S., 506 U.S. 224 (1993).

-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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