Transcript of OA 391: Republicans Are Still Trying to Break the Government, Part Eleven Billion

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 391!  I’m Thomas, that’s Andrew, how’re you doing, Andrew?

Andrew:         I’m fantastic, Thomas, how are you?

Thomas:         I’m just so excited because we obviously did the live Q&A yesterday.

Andrew:         Yeah!

Thomas:         It was great.  Everyone was fantastic.

Andrew:         It always is! [Laughs]

Thomas:         I dunno why I’m bringing it up.  [Laughs] Any announcements this time?  I guess not.

Andrew:         Naw, I think we’re good on announcements, we can get right into the meat.

Thomas:         Still plugging away on our amicus briefs.

Andrew:         Indeed, we are.

Thomas:         Just working so hard on ‘em.  Mine I had to dot a couple I’s, I also had to check a couple cases.  Just, you know, be able to cite them properly, I had to distinguish one of mine. 

Andrew:         That’s 100% plausible, yes.

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OA391: Republicans Are Still Trying To Break the Government, Part Eleven Billion

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into H.R. 965, which (quite sensibly) permits proxy voting in the House of Representatives in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and the lawsuit filed by various Republican lawmakers to try and stop it. Good news! The lawsuit has no chance of success thanks to… litigation prompted by Donald Trump.

We begin, however, with an update on the DOJ probe into insider trading allegations against four Senators that allegedly — either on their own behalf or via another party — sold off stock prior to the public pronouncements about COVID-19 that tanked the stock market. Who got off? Who’s left under the microscope? Is there anything nefarious here? We break it all down for you!

After that it’s time to delve into the recent legislation and accompanying (nonsense) lawsuit by Republicans challenging the House’s simple resolution, H.R. 965 (and the implementing legislation, H.R. 967). Find out how the whole thing is going to be precluded thanks to the D.C. Circuit’s recent ruling in Blumenthal v. Trump, which was of course hailed as a victory for the President at the time.

Then, it’s time to check back in with #T3BE involving potential negligence for a factory that failed to install sprinklers. Can Thomas pull this one out? Listen and find out!

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If you missed our Live Q&A #32, the audio is now up for all Patrons! Also remember that Patrons can give their input on the OA Amicus Brief!


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Show Notes & Links

  1. DOJ probe links: (a) here’s the NPR link to the story; and (b) here’s the GovTrack link to the fact that Marco Rubio still doesn’t do his damn job.
  2. On remote voting, check out (a) H.R. 965 (and the implementing legislation, H.R. 967; (b) the D.C. Circuit’s recent ruling in Blumenthal v. Trump; (c) our discussion of that case in Episode 361; (d) the Congressional Research Service article we discussed; and (e) United States v. Ballin, 144 U.S. 1 (1892).

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OA277: The Republican Civil War

Today’s episode breaks down everything you need to know about what’s going to happen with the House Judiciary Committee’s vote to recommend holding Bill Barr in contempt of Congress. Is this all going to go nowhere in a Trump-dominated executive and a right-wing judiciary? Find out why Andrew’s optimistic, and why he calls the underlying dynamic the coming Republican Civil War! All that and we revisit the Republican Andrew called the “key to the apex of Yodel Mountain” over a year ago!

We begin, however, with a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner: you did it! Opening Arguments listeners opened up bar complaints with the Florida Bar about Congressman and nasty little troll Matt Gaetz, and now he faces a state bar disciplinary proceeding.

He’s not the only one, either; we got breaking news today that Paulie Manafort has indeed been disbarred by the District of Columbia!

During the main segment, we break down (1) the contempt recommendation by the House Judiciary committee and exactly what is going to happen next; (2) what the House’s “inherent sanctions” powers are, and whether they can really sic the Sergeant-at-Arms on Bill Barr (hint: yes!); (3) assertions of executive privilege; and (4) the Republican Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. Is Richard Burr (R-NC) the next In Rod We Trust? Listen and find out… and brace yourself for the coming Republican Civil War!

After all that, it’s time for a Thomas Takes the Bar Exam featuring special guest Andrew Seidel. Together, the two sit in for an evidence question about the admissibility of prior bad acts. Brush up on your “Ol’ Switcheroo” law and play along with us for #TTTBE!

-Support us on Patreon:

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs


-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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