Transcript of OA345: How John Roberts Saved Christmas (Or: Everything You Need to Know About Nixon v. US)

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

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[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments.  Merry Christmas Andrew Torrez!  I’m Thomas Smith, how’s it going Andrew?

Andrew:         Merry Christmas Thomas Smith, happy holidays, I am doing fantastic.  How are you?

Thomas:         Oh, good!  I was visited by three ghosts in the night.

Andrew:         Okay?

Thomas:         And I’ve gotta turn myself around.

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OA345: How John Roberts Saved Christmas (Or: Everything You Need to Know About Nixon v. US)

Happy Holidays, everyone! Today, we tackle a number of issues that managed to distract us over the holidays regarding impeachment and do a deep dive into Nixon v. US — all while weaving in a John-Roberts-as-the-Grinch-Who-Saved-the-Country-From-Mitch-McConnell story. Can it happen? Absolutely. Will it? We don’t know. Do you need to listen? ABSOLUTELY.

We begin, however, with the recent filing by the lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee suggesting it might “impeach Donald Trump again.” What on earth does that mean, and why is he taking this position? We explain it all.

Then it’s time for a brief foray into the debate between Noah Feldman, Laurence Tribe (and Jonathan Turley for good measure) as to whether Trump has really been impeached given that the House has not yet transmitted the articles to the Senate.

As we all know, that question is really academic — the real issue is: what power does Mitch McConnell have to transform impeachment into a sham proceeding? The answer lies in a 1993 Supreme Court case, Nixon v. US , 506 U.S. 224 — and it may just reside in Chief Justice John Roberts. You won’t want to miss this deep dive storytelling.

After all that, it’s time for a brand new #T3BE involving burglary, larceny, and the world’s angriest ex-employee. Remember to play along 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. Click here to read the House’s filing before the D.C. Circuit in the McGahn subpoena litigation.
  2. In the battle of expert turncoats, we have Noah Feldman arguing that Trump hasn’t been impeached, and Jonathan Turley arguing that he has.
  3. Finally, make sure you read Nixon v. U.S., 506 U.S. 224 (1993).

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OA219: Harvard and Affirmative Action

Today’s Rapid Response Friday takes us to the front lines of the affirmative action debate with the trial of Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard, a lawsuit brought by a single-issue right-wing activist determined to end diversity as a criterion in school admissions.  (And yes, we tell you what we really think!)

We begin, however, with some news regarding the Monsanto trial we profiled back in Episode 202.

After that, it’s time for a deep dive into the nuances of affirmative action with the SFFA v. Harvard lawsuit.  What exactly does it allege?  What’s the status of affirmative action law?  Where is this lawsuit going?  Listen and find out!

Then it’s time for a brief Andrew Was segment, in which Andrew Was Wrong about the UK Supreme Court, and Andrew Was… Something… about the good news coming out of the Florida Supreme Court.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #98 regarding constitutional standards.  Thomas needs to go 2-for-3 after a recent audit showed a bank error in his favor.  Can he do it?  You’ll have to listen and find out!  And, of course, if you’d like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!


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. We first covered the Monsanto trial back in Episode 202; go check it out!
  2. Click here to read the Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard lawsuit.
  3. To understand the history of affirmative action, listen to our Episode 93, and check out both Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) and Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), the cases we discussed in the episode.
  4. I mentioned the Etzkowitz et al. article on critical mass; you can read that here.

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

And email us at


Download Link