OA385: Reality Check! (w/Allison Gill)

Today’s episode features an in-depth interview with Allison Gill of American Atheists regarding the just-released survey Reality Check, which interviews more than 34,000 nonreligious individuals, gathering data as a precursor to support specific arguments with lawmakers in terms of lobbying for recognizing atheist constituents. You won’t want to miss it!

We begin, however, with a bit more in-depth analysis about the nonjusticiability doctrine and how it might affect the Supreme Court’s decision in the Mazars and Deutsche Bank subpoena cases — which are being heard today by the Supreme Court!

Then, it’s time for our in-depth interview with Allison where we talk about discrimination against atheists, including a deep dive into the actual research that shows how atheists are treated in society — even among educated peers.

After all that, it’s time for the answer to #T3BE 177 involving a noxious factory next to a residence and mini-golf. Can Thomas keep up his winning streak? There’s only one way to find out!

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Transcript of OA369: Hummanist Invocations & LED ZEPPELIN

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 369.  I am Thomas Smith, that’s Andrew Torrez.  How’re you doing, Andrew?

Andrew:         I am doing fantastic, Thomas, how are you?

Thomas:         Doing great!

Andrew:         Yeah, coronavirus free?

Thomas:         Yeah, nothing wrong.  I don’t have to worry about having a retirement account anymore.

Andrew:         [Laughs]  Yeah-

Thomas:         That’s a load off my mind!  [Laughs]  

Andrew:         We’re gonna work until we’re 200.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA369: Hummanist Invocations & LED ZEPPELIN”

OA369: Humanist Invocations & LED ZEPPELIN

Today’s episode features two deep dives: first, we have an interview with David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community to discuss their successful (!) five-year lawsuit to permit humanist, atheist & non-clergy invocations before the Brevard County council meetings. Find out how this case developed and learn some strategies for successful grass-roots activism even in the age of Trump!

We also take one more deep dive into the amazing Spirit/Led Zeppelin lawsuit, this time taking a look at the recent en banc decision by the full 9th Circuit that reverses the earlier panel opinion (and is a win for Led Zep). The 9th Circuit has some interesting things to say about the “inverse ratio” rule that really brings out discussion from the past two weeks (see episodes 365 and 367). We know you’ll enjoy it!

After that, it’s time for the answer to #T3BE 170, which matched Thomas up against the dreaded REAL PROPERTY QUESTION. Can he slay the beast? Listen and find out!

Patreon Bonuses

If you’re a patron at any level, you can ask a coronavirus question to be answered on the next two episodes, and if you’re at the $2 level or above, we have an amazing new Law’d Awful Movies featuring the Larry Klayman/Roger Stone deposition that must be heard to be believed!


None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, event, or in front of your group, please drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out the Central Florida Freethought Community
  2. We first took a “Stairway to the Supreme Court (?)” back in Episode 236 and then did a follow-up in Episode 288. Of course, we also covered Riehl and Rubin’s project in Episode 365 (“Every Melody Ever, Part 1”) and interviewed Riehl and Rubin themselves in Episode 367.
  3. Finally, you can read the recent en banc decision by the full 9th Circuit for yourself.

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OA248: The Cert(iorari) Show!

Today’s episode features a deep dive into a bunch of different issues around granting the writ of certiorari — “cert” — and some of the intricacies of how the Trump administration is trying to take advantage of the activist Supreme Court.  Oh, and we also tackle a lawsuit that’s being grossly misrepresented by the media.

We begin with a discussion of the unique procedure of “cert before judgment.”  What is it, how rare is it, and… why is the Trump administration trying to deploy it with alarming frequency?  Listen and find out!

Then, we revisit litigation regarding the census that we first discussed back in Episode 232, and the administration’s effort to… get cert before judgment (of course).

Our main segment looks at something Andrew has never seen before:  essentially, a four-justice dissent from a denial of certiorari.  Why is this weird?  Listen and find out as we dissect that very opinion in Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist.

Next, we tackle a recent clickbaity headline involving a dishwasher allegedly showered with money for “skipping work to go to church.”  Find out why the reporting on this case has been totally irresponsible and what really happened.

After all that, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #111, which involved a contract for defective water bottles.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!


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. “Cert before judgment” is governed by Supreme Court Rule 11.
  2. We first discussed the census litigation back in Episode 232.  You can read the motion to dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted, as well as the U.S. reply.
  3. Click here to read the “statement” regarding the denial of cert in Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist.
  4. Click here to read the CBS news report on the Hilton lawsuit, and here to read the (even worse) reporting by the Friendly Atheist blog.
  5. By contrast, you can read the actual Jean Pierre Hilton overtime lawsuit and the jury’s verdict.  Oh, and here’s the EEOC’s statement limiting punitive damages in retaliation cases to just $300,000 (not $21 million).

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

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And email us at openarguments@gmail.com


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