OA380: This Week at the Supreme Court

Today’s episode breaks down two significant Supreme Court decisions released this week, including Barton v. Barr (involving immigration) and Ramos v. Louisiana (involving unanimous jury verdicts). We break down each one and explain the short- and long-term implications.

First, though, it’s time for a bit of Andrew Was Right and Andrew Was Wrong. The good news: Texas has changed its Executive Order formerly prohibiting abortions and has now affirmed in open court that it will not use the COVID-19 pandemic as pretext for denying reproductive health rights! Best of all, this is exactly the result we’ve been telling you would happen over the past few weeks — even though it took us a bit to get there. But also Andrew Was Wrong? Yeah, Andrew also has a correction to issue regarding lifetime judicial appointments in Episode 378.

Then, it’s time for the main segment in which we break down the Supreme Court’s completely predicable — and utterly unjustifiable — 5-4 decision in Barton v. Barr to restrict the remedies available to legal aliens to challenge removal decisions. Find out why Neil Gorsuch openly admits that the interpretation he votes for makes no sense, textually. (Hint: it’s because these justices don’t care about jurisprudence, just about outcomes.)

After that, we tackle a second key Supreme Court decision that came out this week, Ramos v. Louisiana, in which the Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury was incorporated to the states. Find out why this case presents a “stare decisis trap” for the Court’s liberal justices and how that explains this unique 6-3 alignment with Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor in dissent (!)

Then, of course, it’s time for an all-new Thomas (and Devin) Take the Bar Exam, in which we preview next week’s special guest and they try and break down a criminal question about football. You won’t want to miss it!

Patreon Bonuses

Our next LIVE Q&A is scheduled for Friday, May 1, at 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific, and you can post and vote on which questions you want to see answered! And don’t forget that we’ve released Law’d Awful Movies #39, Class Action, starring Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and featuring guest performer Matt Donnelly of the Ice Cream Social podcast!


Andrew was just a guest on Episode 375 of the Scathing Atheist, breaking down the latest legal nonsense from Kansas. And 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. For a sneak peek at next week’s guest, check out the Legal Eagle YouTube channel.
  2. Click here to read the Court’s decisions in Barton v. Barr (involving immigration) and Ramos v. Louisiana (involving unanimous jury verdicts).
  3. In the A segment, we discuss the hilariously-secretive announcement of GA-15, the text of GA-15 itself, and quote extensively from the reply brief filed by Texas in Judge Yeakel’s court (W.D. Tex.).
  4. Our previous immigration discussions were in Episodes 301 and 314. We talked about how subsection d(1)(B) was buried on page 596 of the 750-page Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, and also broke down the text of both 8 U.S.C. § 1229b and 8 U.S.C. § 1282.
  5. Finally, please read this amazing piece by Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times analyzing the Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana.

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