OA378: Trump’s Stupid Threat to “Adjourn” the Senate (A Primer on Appointments)

Today’s episode breaks down the latest threat by Donald Trump to “adjourn” the House and Senate, and explains why a) you shouldn’t be scared and b) he’s unlikely to do it. This is a stunt designed to distract us from how badly Trump has handled COVID-19; we recognize we’re sort of falling for it, so we’re bringing you a deep dive on appointments and good news as well!

We begin, however, with that good news, including an update on the HUGE VICTORY for the forces of democracy in Wisconsin in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s shameful decision that we discussed in Episode 376. And, to pile on, we talk about good news in all of the abortion cases, even those in Texas!

After that, it’s time for the main segment breaking down whether Trump can adjourn the House and Senate (probably), whether he will (almost certainly not), and why not (because there’s not much to be gained and a ton to risk). Along the way, we’ll do a deep dive into NLRB v. Noel Canning, a 2014 Supreme Court decision that constrains Presidential “recess appointments” — which is what Trump would presumably adjourn the Senate to do.

Then it’s time for a brand new #T3BE about an aunt who changes her mind about selling her business to her niece. Can she be sued? Listen and find out! And, as always, if you want to play along on social media just share out this episode along with your answer!


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. Here’s Trump’s threat to adjourn Congress.
  2. We begin with an analysis of the Senate’s rules on advice-and-consent in approving Presidential appointments.
  3. You’ll want to read NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2014).
  4. Finally, here’s the Tweet by Steve Vladeck with which Andrew disagrees.

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OA198: What Is Alan Dershowitz Thinking?

Today’s episode takes an in-depth look at Donald Trump’s favorite “liberal,” Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz as seen through the eyes of one of his former students.

We begin, however, with an update from the Paul Manafort trial, taking a look at the prosecution’s strategy, witness list, and some preliminary rulings by Judge Ellis.

After that, we dive very deeply into what looks like a very weird phenomenon:  why is Alan Dershowitz carrying water for a President whom he ostensibly opposes?  Why is he saying things that are demonstrably and indefensibly untrue about the law?

Andrew has a theory.  Mostly, though, he has stories and research… but they lead to a theory (we promise)!

Finally, we end the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #87 regarding constitutional law and a state vs. the federal Confrontation Clause.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

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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. This is the article in The Hill indicating that the prosecution would, in fact, call Rick Gates; earlier, friend of the show Randall Eliason gave a bunch of reasons why they might not.  Oh, and Eliason also has you covered as to why ‘collusion’ is, in fact, a crime.
  2. This is the laughable Fox News report on how Judge Ellis hates the prosecution; for a dose of reality, you might want to check out this other article in The Hill about how Judge Ellis chastised both sides’s lawyers.
  3. If you missed it, this is our Episode 107 where we tackled Serial.
  4. Here’s the PBS retrospective on Dershowitz and the OJ trial.
  5. Our Dershowitz story on ‘testilying’ begins with Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961) and the origins of the exclusionary rule; Dershowitz coined the term ‘testilying’ in this New York Times article from 1994.
  6. Testilying is, of course, a consistent problem today (see A, B) — but Dershowitz hasn’t spoken about it since 1998 (and even then, in an entirely different context).
  7. Instead, he attacked Baltimore’s decision to indict the police in the Freddie Gray case in 2015.

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