Transcript of OA363: Good News About Ex-Felons in Florida

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

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[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments!  This is episode 363, I’m Thomas Smith, that over there is Andrew Torrez.  How’re you doin’ Andrew?

Andrew:         I am fantastic Thomas, how are you?  How’d you enjoy those Nevada results… if they came in?

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OA363: Good News About Ex-Felons in Florida

Today’s episode brings you some good news from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals with respect to Florida’s effort to restore the vote to felons who have completed their sentences — and the Republicans’ ongoing efforts to stop it. We also revisit the emoluments clause litigations pending in two jurisdictions as well as tackle a novel question from one of our listeners. You won’t want to miss it!

We begin with a brief Andrew Was Wrong / Andrew Was Right segment regarding emoluments. Friend of the show Seth Barrett Tillman writes in to correct us on two procedural issues and also to venture an opinion that any future emoluments cases would have to be brought by both houses of Congress. Find out why Andrew disagrees and stands by his original recommendation in Episode 361 that Nancy Pelosi authorize a new vote by the full House of Representatives to re-file the case originally brought in Blumenthal v. Trump.

Then it’s time for our main segment on the breaking decision out of the 11th Circuit striking down the Florida legislature’s effort to gut Amendment 4 (which was meant to restore voting rights to ex-felons). Find out why the court ruled the way it did, what happens next, and why there may be cause for optimism in the Sunshine State!

After that, it’s time for a fascinating, clever, but (sadly) wrong suggestion from a listener regarding a writ of mandamus and the current logjam in Congress.

We end, as always, with #T3BE, and Thomas’s seven-question winning streak on the line regarding a contract and an unfortunate foreman who suffers an accident prior to starting his duties. Will Thomas prevail? Listen and find out! And don’t forget to play along by sharing out the show on social media!


None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at

Show Notes & Links

  1. In the opening segment, Andrew breaks down the Supreme Court case of Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill (2019).
  2. You’ll want to read the 11th Circuit’s opinion for yourself. We last discussed the Florida legislature’s efforts to gut Amendment 4 back in Episode 266.

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-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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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!

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OA266: Auer Deference & Florida Felons

Today’s classic, deep-dive Tuesday takes an in-depth look at two critical issues in the news:  first, the recent effort by the Republican governor and state legislature in Florida to undo the broadly popular Constitutional Amendment passed during the 2018 midterms to restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences, and second, the Supreme Court’s next assault on the “administrative state,” this time, by likely ending the doctrine of Auer deference.

We begin with an update about pending oral arguments before the Supreme Court, as well as a notice that this episode was bumped from last Tuesday to make way for our emergency Barr Summary episode.

Then, it’s time for a deep-dive into Florida, the process of citizen-driven ballot initiatives, and exactly what the state legislature intends to do to undermine the will of the public.

After that, it’s time for yet another deep dive, this time into Kisor v. Schulkin, which is currently pending before the Supreme Court, in which the petitioners have asked the Court to flat-out overrule yet another well-established conservative doctrine simply on the grounds that the Federalist Society doesn’t like it.

Then, as always, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #120 regarding a light touch on the bus.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Andrew was recently a guest on Episode 19 of the Glass Box podcast discussing this same subject (but with respect to Utah).  If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at

Show Notes & Links

  1.  In the pre-show, we discuss gerrymandering, which we last talked about in depth in Episode 251.
  2. We mentioned the Washington Post story about the DC City council overturning the $15/hr minimum wage initiative.
  3. This is the text of PCB CRJ 19-03, the Florida bill under consideration.  And here, by the way, is the link to Andrew Gillum’s voter registration initiative, Bring It Home Florida.
  4. We’ve never talked about Auer deference before, but we have discussed Chevron deference at great length, most recently in Episode 136.
  5. You can click here to read Auer v. Robbins, that 9-0 liberal decision authored by noted socialist Antonin Scalia.
  6. Finally, click here to read the underlying CAFC-Opinion in Kisor v. Schulkin.

Support us on Patreon at:

Follow us on Twitter:  @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


Download Link