OA297: Twitter, Emoluments & Labor Unions

Today’s episode features a grab-bag of stories that have been making the rounds, including the recent ruling out of the Second Circuit regarding Donald Trump’s use of Twitter, a setback for our buddy Brian Frosh’s efforts to enforce the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution, and an update on the real-word consequences of the Janus v. AFSCME decision we decry so much around here.

We begin with the Second Circuit’s ruling in Knight First Amendment Inst. v. Trump, which established that a government official may convert a social media platform such as Twitter into a “limited use public forum,” from which he may not block users on the basis of the political content of their speech — i.e., viewpoint discrimination. Almost no one understands this decision; we’ll make sure you’re one of the lucky ones who do!

Then, it’s time for a breakdown of the 4th Circuit’s ruling in In re Trump, which directs the lower court to dismiss the lawsuit (and pending discovery) against Trump in the lawsuit brought by Maryland and D.C. alleging violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses. Find out what this case is all about, whether the outcome is reasonable, and what’s next.

After that, it’s time for a quick look at the real-world implications of the Janus v. AFSCME decision allowing public-sector union employees to withhold a portion of their dues otherwise allocated for administrative duties under… some crazy right-wing theory that something something something, because Sam Alito knows diminishing the power of unions will hurt Democrats. But what else did that decision do? Listen and find out!

After all that, it’s time for the most controversial #TTTBE yet, in which we discover the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam (regarding larceny and robbery) … or do we? You won’t want to miss this one!


Andrew was a guest on the latest episode of the Left at the Valley podcast discussing abortion, as well as the most recent episode of Mueller, She Wrote talking.. well, pretty much everything!

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the Second Circuit’s ruling in Knight First Amendment Inst. v. Trump (the Twitter case), and here to check out the Fourth Circuit’s ruling in In Re Trump (the Emoluments case).
  2. We first covered the emoluments case way back in Episode 78, and we interviewed Seth Barrett Tillman for his unique take in Episode 35 and Episode 36.
  3. We learned that bad stuff was coming in the emoluments litigation in Episode 239 when the 4th Circuit issued a stay of all discovery; you can read that stay order here.
  4. Finally, click here to read the LA Progressive article on Mark Janus and his conservative activism.

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OA 176: It’s Summer (Zervos) Time!

It’s time for another Rapid Response Friday, which means we get to break down whether Donald Trump has to respond to the Summer Zervos defamation lawsuit.  (Hint:  yes)

We begin, however,  with a potential Stormy Setback.  What’s the deal with press reports of a $10 million judgment entered against Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti?  Could it jeopardize the pending litigation?  Listen and find out!

After that, we break down the recent federal district court opinion in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump, which we covered when the case was first filed way back in Episode 77.  Are Donald Trump’s Tweets really a “protected forum” to which the First Amendment applies?  Listen and find out!

Then, we break down exactly how duplicitious Donald Trump’s personal lawyer has been regarding the Summer Zervos lawsuit.  It’s exactly as much as you’d expect!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #77 regarding the constitutional requirement to a trial by jury.  If you’d like to play along with our new Patreon perk, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on the Dumb All Over Podcast, episode 70.  Go check it out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. We discussed Michael Avenatti’s pro hac vice motion in Episode 174; you can also read the LA Times article about the bankruptcy judgment, as well as check out both the Avenatti involuntary bankruptcy petition and the Avenatti creditors list.
  2. We analyzed several cases, the most hilarious of which is Kohlmayer v. AMTRAK, 124 F.Supp.2d 877 (D.N.J. 2000).
  3. Trump’s Tweets were first discussed in Episode 77, along with the Davison v. Loudon County decision.
  4. You should read the Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump decision.
  5. This is the Supreme Court’s decision in Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997), and if you want to read Marc Kasowitz’s deliberately misleading statements yourself, you can do so here.

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And email us at openarguments@gmail.com


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