OA287: Down the Hatch (Act)?

Today’s Rapid Response Friday covers all of the breaking developments this week, including a ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the latest news out of the House of Representatives, and the Office of Special Counsel’s latest request that Donald Trump should fire Kellyanne Conway for “flagrant” serial violations of the Hatch Act. What does all that mean? Listen and find out!

We begin by revisiting the state of Wisconsin, where Republicans in gerrymandered-safe seats in the state legislature stripped power away from the incoming Democratic Governor and Attorney General. A trial court issued an injunction preventing that law from going into effect, and just two days ago, the state Supreme Court finally ruled on that injunction. How did that go? (You know the drill.)

Then, we move into the main segment, in which we discuss all of the developments related to the census question we last discussed in Episode 286. Learn about one respondent’s petition for limited remand, the White House’s assertion of executive privilege, and then what’s next from the Democratic House.

After all that, it’s time to climb Yodel Mountain. Learn exactly who Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn hired once he fired Covington & Burlington Coat Factory, and what that (probably) means. And then, it’s time to learn allllll about the Hatch Act, and why a loyal Trump supporter thinks it means it’s time to fire Kellyanne Conway.

Then, it’s time for Thomas Takes the Bar Exam. This time, Thomas tackles a tricky question about a government agency that hires a private collector to purchase antiques. Can the state charge sales tax? Listen and find out!

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. We last discussed the census in Episode 286.
2. Click here to read the NYIC petition for limited remand.
3. This is HR 430, which is the full House vote to allow the Judiciary Committee to sue to enforce the McGahn and Barr subpoenas.
4. And here is the roll call vote.
5. The Hatch Act is 5 U.S.C. § 7323.
6. The Hatch Act was upheld in United States Civil Service Comm’n et al. v. Nat’l Ass’n of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, et al., 413 U.S. 548 (1973).
7. Finally, click here to read the OSC Conway letter.

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-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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OA286: The Census and Disenfranchisement

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into recent developments following the death of Republican operative Thomas Hofeller — the architect of the REDMAP — that may impact the census question case currently pending before the Supreme Court, Department of Commerce v. New York.

First, however, we begin with an Andrew Was Wrong about the 2006 midterm elections and the Pension Protection Act. That was, in fact, a Democratic wave year — but the PPA was passed in August, nearly five months before that new Democratic congress was seated. Oops.

Then it’s time to delve into the strange files of Thomas Hofeller, the architect of REDMAP — you know, the gerrymandering strategy and software that turned Republican minorities into majorities in states like Wisconsin and tiny Republican majorities into one-sided dominance in states like North Carolina. Want to know his plan for helping “Non-Hispanic Whites?” Of course you do!

We break down exactly how this development may affect Dep’t of Commerce v. New York, which has already been briefed and argued before the Supreme Court, and the interesting strategy that the respondents used to make SCOTUS aware of what Hofeller was up to.

After all that, it’s time for the answer to Thomas (and the Entire Puzzle in a Thunderstorm Crew) Takes the Bar Exam #129 involving comparative negligence, joint and several liability, and intra-family liability in connection with a car accident. Did you get it right? Remember you can play along every Friday by sharing our show on social media using the hashtag #TTTBE.

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 98 of the Skepticrat breaking down everyone’s second-favorite Democratic 2020 Presidential contenders; you won’t want to miss it! And 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. We first covered the citizenship question on Episode 232
  2. You can access the briefs filed in Department of Commerce v. New York: Here
  3. This is the letter filed by respondents and copied to the Supreme Court setting forth the new evidence relating to Hofeller.
  4. And, in the interests of balance, here’s the response filed by the government.
  5. And finally, here’s the ruling and scheduling order from Judge Furman in the District Court case (No. 18-2921) setting forth the time to brief and seek discovery regarding potential sanctions on the government witnesses.

-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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OA262: Is Gideon v. Wainwright in Trouble??

Today’s episode is inspired by the 56th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, one of the most famous and celebrated landmark Supreme Court cases that guarantees indigent defendants the right to a court-appointed lawyer.  Is it under attack from our right-wing Supreme Court?  (You bet it is.)

We begin with a quick update on the recent district court opinion in California v. Ross and what that means for the 2020 Census.

Then, it’s time for an Andrew Was Right segment a update on the New York appellate court’s ruling in the Summer Zervos lawsuit.  As it turns out, Donald Trump does have to respond to Summer Zervos’s lawsuit — just like Bill Clinton had to respond to Paula Jones’s.

Then it’s time for a terrifying deep dive into Clarence Thomas’s dissent in the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Garza v. Idaho.  What’s the case about, and why is Thomas using it as a vehicle to try and overturn one of the most basic and fundamental rights criminal defendants enjoy today?  Listen and (sadly) find out.

After all that, it’s time for a fun listener question about footballer Wayne Rooney and public obscenity laws.

Then, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #118.  Did Thomas get a dreaded real property question correct??  Listen and find out!  And, as always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

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 recent district court opinion in California v. Ross.
  2. Check out the New York appellate court’s ruling in the Summer Zervos lawsuit.
  3. If you have the stomach for it, read Clarence Thomas’s dissent in the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Garza v. Idaho.
  4. In the question-and-answer section, we discussed this statute, Rooney’s arrest record, and Cohen v. California.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

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 email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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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!

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. “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).

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA232: Trump’s Plan to Weaponize the Census (& Bridgegate!)

Today’s deep-dive Tuesday takes us back to a time in which politically-motivated revenge was actually seen as a scandal; namely, Chris Christie’s Bridgegate.  There’s a new ruling out of the Third Circuit that affects two Christie staffers, and… well, you’ll just have to listen and find out!

Then, it’s time to take a long look at ongoing litigation surrounding the Trump Administration’s efforts to deter Democrats from registering for the Census, thus reducing their voting power.  What does a trial in district court have to do with the Supreme Court’s recent grant of certiorari?

After that, we answer a terrific Patron listener question regarding the European loser-pays-legal fees model versus the American pay-your-own-way model.  Yes, the American model seems counter-intuitive at best (and downright regressive at worst), but is shifting to a loser-pays model the answer?  Andrew talks about his experiences and the guys go through a bunch of options.

And finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #103 on the Takings Clause!  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances

Andrew was recently a guest on the David Pakman show talking court-packing and more.  Give it a listen!  And, as always, 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. You can read the 3rd Circuit’s opinion in Bridgegate by clicking here.
  2. Click here to read the Court’s order in the Census litigation, which shows that Thomas-Alito-Gorsuch would have granted a stay.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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