OA780: SCOTUS Blocked Biden From Cancelling Student Loans Because F— You Is Why

Liz and Andrew provide a brief update as we continue to wait with bated breath on Trump indictments in DC (for the January 6th insurrection) and possibly in Fulton County, Georgia (for trying to falsify Georgia’s election results).

In the main segment, Liz and Andrew break down the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Biden v. Nebraska on the so-called “major questions” doctrine as to why we can’t have nice things like student loan forgiveness.

Notes
Biden v. Nebraska
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/22-506_nmip.pdf

Dep’t of Education v. Brown
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/22-535_i3kn.pdf

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OA380: This Week at the Supreme Court

Today’s episode breaks down two significant Supreme Court decisions released this week, including Barton v. Barr (involving immigration) and Ramos v. Louisiana (involving unanimous jury verdicts). We break down each one and explain the short- and long-term implications.

First, though, it’s time for a bit of Andrew Was Right and Andrew Was Wrong. The good news: Texas has changed its Executive Order formerly prohibiting abortions and has now affirmed in open court that it will not use the COVID-19 pandemic as pretext for denying reproductive health rights! Best of all, this is exactly the result we’ve been telling you would happen over the past few weeks — even though it took us a bit to get there. But also Andrew Was Wrong? Yeah, Andrew also has a correction to issue regarding lifetime judicial appointments in Episode 378.

Then, it’s time for the main segment in which we break down the Supreme Court’s completely predicable — and utterly unjustifiable — 5-4 decision in Barton v. Barr to restrict the remedies available to legal aliens to challenge removal decisions. Find out why Neil Gorsuch openly admits that the interpretation he votes for makes no sense, textually. (Hint: it’s because these justices don’t care about jurisprudence, just about outcomes.)

After that, we tackle a second key Supreme Court decision that came out this week, Ramos v. Louisiana, in which the Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury was incorporated to the states. Find out why this case presents a “stare decisis trap” for the Court’s liberal justices and how that explains this unique 6-3 alignment with Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor in dissent (!)

Then, of course, it’s time for an all-new Thomas (and Devin) Take the Bar Exam, in which we preview next week’s special guest and they try and break down a criminal question about football. You won’t want to miss it!

Patreon Bonuses

Our next LIVE Q&A is scheduled for Friday, May 1, at 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific, and you can post and vote on which questions you want to see answered! And don’t forget that we’ve released Law’d Awful Movies #39, Class Action, starring Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and featuring guest performer Matt Donnelly of the Ice Cream Social podcast!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 375 of the Scathing Atheist, breaking down the latest legal nonsense from Kansas. And 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. For a sneak peek at next week’s guest, check out the Legal Eagle YouTube channel.
  2. Click here to read the Court’s decisions in Barton v. Barr (involving immigration) and Ramos v. Louisiana (involving unanimous jury verdicts).
  3. In the A segment, we discuss the hilariously-secretive announcement of GA-15, the text of GA-15 itself, and quote extensively from the reply brief filed by Texas in Judge Yeakel’s court (W.D. Tex.).
  4. Our previous immigration discussions were in Episodes 301 and 314. We talked about how subsection d(1)(B) was buried on page 596 of the 750-page Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, and also broke down the text of both 8 U.S.C. § 1229b and 8 U.S.C. § 1282.
  5. Finally, please read this amazing piece by Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times analyzing the Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana.

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Transcript of OA336: Warren’s Wealth Tax & CRA for SCOTUS?

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 336.  I’m Thomas Smith, that over there is Andrew Torrez, how’re you doing Andrew?

Andrew:         I am doing fantastic Thomas!  How are you?

Thomas:         I am doing even better because we have got the deepest of deep dives, I can’t wait for this episode because there’s some really cool law stuff happening and I’m just excited, and it’s not necessarily revolving around Trump which is fun.  It’s a nice change of pace, I think.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA336: Warren’s Wealth Tax & CRA for SCOTUS?”

OA336: Warren’s Wealth Tax & a CRA for SCOTUS?

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. Is it constitutional? How will the arguments shape up? Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with an interesting proposal for a “Congressional Review Act” for the Supreme Court by law professor — and professional Supreme-Court-fixer — Ganesh Sitaraman. Will this proposal meet with more approval than Sitaraman’s previous “lottery” idea?

Then we do a deep dive into the history of taxes in this country, looking at two very old cases — one from 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429), and one from way back in 1796 (Hylton v. U.S.). We also cover the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894, as well as check in on the most recent Supreme Court tax ruling from Chief Justice John Roberts, the NFIB v. Sebelius 2012 Obamacare decision.

What do we learn from all that? Well, you’ll just have to give it a listen!

After all that, it’s time for the answer to what some are calling the easiest #T3BE question ever about falling off a ladder. Are they right? Was Thomas? There’s only one way to know for sure!

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. Please do participate in our favorite charity event of the year, Vulgarity for Charity! To participate, just donate $50 or more to Modest Needs, and then send a copy of the receipt to vulgarityforcharity@gmail.com along with your request for a roast. You can even request that Thomas & Andrew roast the victim of your choice.
  2. You can read Prof. Sitaraman’s latest article in The Atlantic suggesting a “Congressional Review Act for the Supreme Court.” (We previously broke down the Congressional Review Act way back in Episode 61.)
  3. We last touched on Prof. Sitaraman’s “How to Save the Supreme Court” lottery proposal somewhat less favorably in Episode 294.
  4. Head on over to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign site to read her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal.
  5. Resources for tax law: Hylton v. U.S. (1796); Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429 (1895), and NFIB v. Sebelius (2012).
  6. Finally, you can check out the scholars letters submitted in support of Warren’s tax plan as well as the Johnson & Dellinger law review article, “The Constitutionality of a National Wealth Tax.

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OA293: My Deference & Auer Deference (Kisor v. Wilkie)

Today’s episode revisits a narrow area of administrative law we last discussed in Episode 266, namely, Auer deference. Andrew made a bold prediction in that episode, and find out where he was wrong — and where he was right now that the Supreme Court has ruled in Kisor v. Wilkie. We also discuss the recent unsealing of court records thanks to a CNN reporter and we witness the return of listener favorite segment “Are You A Cop?” with a fabulous question about drinking and driving. Buckle up!

We begin, however, with a look at a recent request made by CNN’s Katelyn Polantz regarding certain court proceedings and records relating to the Mueller Investigation. Does this mean that “BILL BARR KILLED 7 OPEN INVESTIGATIONS?” (No.) But it is significant, and you won’t want to miss why.

Then, it’s time for a deep-dive explainer that starts with a reminder on the principles of agency deference. Don’t remember the exact difference between Chevron deference and Auer deference? We’ve got you covered — including, in particular, how the latter came under attack in Kisor v. Wilkie, a case involving a retired servicemember challenging the internal agency regulations governing disability pay. Should the courts defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own rules, or should it be wildly activist and defer to Neil Gorsuch’s interpretation of those rules? Kisor gives us a slightly different answer than you might expect, all while angling us towards the day soon to come in which the Supreme Court greatly expands the power of the judicial branch.

After that, it’s time for Are You A Cop? featuring some truly terrible advice for how to beat a DUI arrest. (Please do not do this.) We talk about standards of evidence while debunking the notion that you should… drink more when you’re pulled over? (It’s a weird question.)

As if that wasn’t enough, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #132 about an escaped, de-fanged, venomous snake. Who’s responsible? Listen and find out!

Appearances

Andrew will be a guest at the Mueller She Wrote live show in Philadelphia, PA on July 17, 2019; click that link to buy tickets, and come up and say hi! And remember: if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show (or at your live show!), drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. This is the Raw Story article we criticize during the “A” segment, and to verify what we’ve said is correct, you can read (a) Polantz’s request; (b) the Court’s order; (c) Exhibit A (Search Warrants); (d) Exhibit B (Wiretapping); and (e) Exhibit C (Pen Register/Trap & Trace). Phew!
  2. We previewed Kisor v. Wilkie (read decision) in Episode 266. And, in breaking down Justice Roberts’s holding in Kisor, we also expose shoddy journalism like this Daily Beast article.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

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-And finally, remember that you can 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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OA216: Court Packing & More (w/guest Chad Schneider)

Today’s (thankfully) Kavanaugh-free episode takes a look at Florida Governor Rick Scott’s blatant court packing attempt with the Florida Supreme Court, and the lawsuit filed by Common Cause to try and stop him.  What will happen?  Listen and find out!

First, though, we begin by revisiting our controversial episode (197) on 3-D printed guns by bringing on a real-life expert in 3-D printing to handle some technical questions and understand the arguments and counter-arguments regarding the proliferation of cheap and dangerous handguns.

After that, we delve into Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s transparent attempt to game the system to pack the Florida Supreme Court.  What does this mean for “Constitutional Hardball” and the state of the law in Florida?  Listen and find out!

Then, we give you a brief preview of next week’s story on California’s net neutrality law.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas (and Chad) Take The Bar Exam #96 regarding the breach of an employment contract.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

Thomas will be at QED in Manchester, UK on Oct. 13 and 14.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed 3-D printed guns back in Episode 197.
  2. Click here to read the Slate article on Scott’s effort to pack the Florida Supreme Court, and you can also read the 2017 lawsuit filed by Common Cause (and others) that was rejected by the Florida Supreme Court.
  3. Check out guest Chad Schneider’s business, Root3 Labs.

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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OA213: Rachel Mitchell to Cross-Examine Dr. Ford at Kavanaugh Hearings

Today’s Rapid Response Friday tackles (ugh) the ongoing Judiciary confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh in light of Dr. Ford’s allegations, before segueing into an interesting question from super-listener Teresa Gomez.  If you want to know everything about Rachel Mitchell (and so much more!) — well, you’ve come to the right place!

We begin with some good news about QED in Manchester, UK and your ability to hang out with Thomas!

After that, it’s time to figure out what’s going on with Kavanaugh.  We examine (1) the political landscape; (2) the status of Blumenthal v. Nat’l Archives, Case No. 18-02143-RDM seeking FOIA information from the National Archives and the CIA; (3) the unprecedented appointment of career sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to handle the questioning of Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh; (4) the strange circumstances surrounding Michael Avenatti’s claim to represent additional women allegedly harrassed by Kavanaugh; and (5) what Dianne Feinstein wants.  Phew!

After that, we somehow have time to answer a fascinating question about pro se litigants giving testimony in court!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #95 regarding Congressional delegation of rule-making authority.  Will Thomas get back on track with just one extra wrong answer to give in the next six questions?  Yu’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!

Appearances

Thomas will be at QED in Manchester, UK on Oct. 13 and 14.

Show Notes & Links

  1. For an in-depth analysis of Dr. Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, listen to Episode 158 of Serious Inquiries Only.
  2. On politics:  here’s the 538 polling data that Kavanaugh becgan historically unpopular and is getting worse.  And this is the (overblown) HuffPo story on the Judicial Crisis Network.
  3. Check out the docket entries in the Blumenthal case! 
  4. Rachel Mitchell has no Wikipedia entry (yet!), but was profiled in the National Law Journal and gave this interview to the “Foundations Baptist Fellowship International.”  Bill Montgomery’s endorsement was reported in this Arizona Central story.
  5. Avenatti’s client, Julie Swetnick, signed an affidavit under penalties of perjury that you can read here.  We detailed Avenatti’s ethical lapses on Episode 181.
  6. Check out Sen. Feinstein’s letter on the Kavanaugh hearings.
  7. Finally, in answering Teresa’s question, we relied on U.S. v. Nivica, 887 F.2d 1110 (1st Cir. 1989)… scroll down to part C!

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA211: Manafort Flips (and more on Kavanaugh)

Today’s Rapid Response Friday tackles (1) Paul Manafort’s plea deal and (2) the surprise resumption of the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh in light of Dr. Ford’s allegations, which are discussed in depth on Episode 158 of Serious Inquiries Only.  What should you look for during Monday’s hearings?  Listen and find out!

We begin with an acknowledgment of the story sent to us by several hundred thousand listeners regarding crazy person Cody Wilson.

After that, it’s time for an important Andrew Was Wrong:  Paul Manafort did not plea over the weekend; he pled guilty pretty much the second we stopped recording!  We break down everything there is to know about his deal, including the strong incentives Manafort has not only to cooperate but to roll over and expose his belly to Mueller’s team in hopes of being thrown a bone or two.  Oh, and we time-travel back to the 19th century to answer a super-interesting listener question on asset forfeiture!

Then, it’s time to discuss Kavanaugh again, in light of the troubling accusations made by Dr. Ford and other issues, including the Democratic Senators’s FOIA lawsuit compelling the production of Kavanaugh’s documents that are being withheld while the Republicans try and cram through his nomination.  It’s not a pretty segment, but we think you’ll walk away equipped to understand Monday’s hearings.

After all that, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #94 regarding Congressional delegation of rule-making authority.  Will Thomas get back on track with just one extra wrong answer to give in the next six questions?  Yu’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!

Appearances

Andrew will be debating originalist (and Kavanaugh clerk!) Justin Reed Wilson in Louisville, Kentucky on September 27; click here for the Facebook RSVP link if you’d like to attend!

Show Notes & Links

  1. For an in-depth analysis of Dr. Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, listen to Episode 158 of Serious Inquiries Only.
  2. You should really read through Mr. Ostrich-Jacket’s plea deal for yourself.  (And yes, that’s the show graphic.)  This is the TPM article Andrew criticizes; as you’ll see from the Sentencing Table, Manafort faces 210-262 (or more) months in prison.
  3. Here’s the polling aggregator from our friends at 538.; as of today, Democrats have a 1-in-3 chance of retaking the Senate.
  4. Click here to read Blumenthal v. US Nat’l Archives, the FOIA complaint filed by the Senate Judiciary Democrats, and here to read the Motion for TRO (which does not yet have an accompanying Memorandum).  FOIA is 5 U.S.C. § 552.
  5. Finally, this is the text of the Sanai letter describing Alex Kozinski and seeking an investigation into Kavanaugh’s knowledge and testimony.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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

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And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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