OA267: Originalism and the Eighth Amendment (Bucklew v. Precythe)

Today’s breaking news episode takes an in-depth look at Bucklew v. Precythe, a recent Supreme Court decision that lays bare the “originalist” view of the Eighth Amendment.  Is it as bad as you think it is?  (Yes.)

We begin, however, with a look at Texas v. U.S. and the recent news that the Trump administration “changed its mind” and “will no longer defend” the Affordable Care Act.  What does that mean?  Listen and find out!

Then, it’s time for our deep dive into Bucklew v. Precythe, the Supreme Court’s analysis of how the 8th Amendment applies in capital punishment cases.

After that, we go back to Yodel Mountain for some updates on the congressional investigations, including the Congressional request for Trump’s tax returns and an EPIC FOIA request.

And if all that isn’t enough for you, well, we end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #121 involving the constitutionality of Presidential executive orders.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances

Thomas was just a guest on the Cognitive Dissonance podcast; go check it out!  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. Wikipedia entry on sodium thiopental can be found here.
2. Glossip v. Gross (2015)
3. Supreme Court’s opinion in Bucklew v. Precythe (Apr. 1, 2019)
4. 8th Circuit’s opinion below in Bucklew
5. Congressional letter requesting Trump’s taxes
6. Bonus! Zuckerman amicus brief in the ACA litigation.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA264: The Barr Summary of the Mueller Report

Today’s emergency, late-breaking episode breaks down the Barr Summary of the Mueller Report and gives you some advance warning that the narrative on the Mueller report is about to shift very quickly in the opposite direction.  Get ahead of the story by listening today!

Due to the length of the breakdown, we don’t have our regular segments today, but we do have (as always), the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #119 regarding contracts for the sale of wheat.  Can Thomas keep his streak alive?  Listen and find out!  And, 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. This is the Barr Summary of the Mueller Report.
2. Ken Dilanian’s tweet.
3. Glenn Greenwald’s tweet.
4. We discussed disaggregation of the investigations in Episode OA: 259.
5. Confirms the Senate Intelligence Committee report we talked about in Episode OA: 190.
6. Russian Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s OPEN SDNY criminal trial as of 1/8/2019 for obstruction of justice.
7. Mueller’s NFL report is here.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA257.5 Michael Cohen Testifies, Part 2

Today’s episode continues our breakdown of ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House of Representatives and all the Yodel Mountain implications that stem from it that we started in Episode 257.  What’s next?  Listen and find out!

We begin where we left off — with Michael Cohen.  Find out how Cohen’s testimony (and documents) implicate our favorite legal genius, Stormy Daniels!

After that, it’s time to check in on Roger Stone’s former flunky, Andrew Miller, and his quixotic quest to undo the Mueller investigation.  That effort was just slapped down by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and we’ve got the full opinion covered for you.

Then, it’s time to check in on an odd development in the sentencing saga of Paul Manafort.  What does the government’s latest (redacted) filing portend?  We’re not entirely sure… but we want you to know what we know.

And then — after all that! — we  end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #116 regarding a rather odd traffic accident.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances
Andrew was just a guest on HBO’s Vice News!  And 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. Here are the documents Michael Cohen brought to Congress.
2. Marcy Wheeler’s article: How Trump Suborns Perjury.
3. DC Circuit’s opinion in Andrew Miller’s In Re: Grand Jury appeal.
4. Court’s sua sponte order.
5. Government’s sentencing memo in Manafort’s DC trial.
6. Manafort’s response memo.
7. Government’s Supplemental heavily redacted memo.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA257: Michael Cohen Testifies, Part 1

Today’s episode breaks down ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House of Representatives and all the Yodel Mountain implications that stem from it.  What’s next?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with an update on the American Legion v. American Humanist Association case where Andrew recently spoke at the AHA’s #HonorThemAll rally.

After that, it’s time to find out about Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz who attempted to intimidate Michael Cohen and… may have gotten into some legal trouble thanks to this show and it’s listeners!

Then, we begin breaking down the Cohen testimony… but there’s so much here to cover, we decided to  keep going for yet another hour, and you’ll get that tomorrow!

For the first time, we don’t end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question, but you’ll get #116 tomorrow.  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!  And 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
1.18 U.S.C. § 1512  Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant. (B) governs witness tampering
2. Gaetz timeline from The Washington Post
3. Florida Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4-8.4(d) “prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the
administration of justice.”
4. Isaac Dovere at the Atlantic tweeting about Gaetz
5. Cohen is subject to 18 U.S.C. § 1001: Statements or entries generally (a)(2) “makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or”
6. 18 U.S.C. § 1622  Subornation of perjury
7. Marcy Wheeler’s article: How Trump Suborns Perjury
8. Here are the documents Michael Cohen brought to Congress
9. Kansas potential emoluments violation

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA255: Wall of Emergency

Today’s episode breaks down Trump’s recent declaration of a state of national emergency as a pretext to build his big, dumb wall.  What’s being done about it?  What can be done about it?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a trip up Yodel Mountain to observe one of its most bizarre members, Roger Stone, who recently posted a “notice of apology” after having uploaded a picture to Instagram of Judge Jackson with a reticule nearby.  What does this mean for the gag order entered in his case?   We tell all — even before the court ruled!

Next, it’s time for our main segment about the wall.  Andrew breaks down exactly where the funding is going to come from, and details all the lawsuits to try and block it.  We end the segment, of course, with a (pessimistic) prediction.

Then, it’s time for even more yodeling.  Is the Mueller investigation really coming to an end? If so, what’s next?  And what about

We end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #115 about offers to compromise.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances
Andrew was just a guest on Episode 87 of the So Here’s My Story podcast; go check it out!  And 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. Stone’s notice of apology.
2. Stone’s original partial gag order.
3. 18 U.S. Code § 1512: Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.
4. The Emergency Declaration.
5. The Presidential Border Security Victory Proclamation
6. Episode OA 243: BUILD THAT WALL!! where we first discussed states of emergency.
7. The Landowners lawsuit filed in DC, Sierra Club/ACLU lawsuit, and finally the California lawsuit filed by 16 states discussed in the show: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
8. 31 U.S.C. § 9703 (TFF).
9. Department of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
10. 10 U.S. Code § 284 – Support for counterdrug activities and activities to counter transnational organized crime.
11. 10 U.S. Code § 2808 – Construction authority in the event of a declaration of war or national emergency – discussed in OA: 243 and “Military construction” defined in 10 U.S.C. § 2801(a).
12. Cummings report on Saudi Arabia.
13. Manafort sentencing discussed DC in OA 253: Religious Freedom and Domineque Ray
14. The transcript of Judge Jackson’s findings on Manafort’s lies
15. Manafort gets a 38 in the E.D.Va sentencing memo
16. Cohen to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27th.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA253: Religious Freedom and Domineque Ray

Today’s episode tackles the recent Dunn v. Ray decision in which the Supreme Court used a procedural mechanism to allow the State of Alabama to execute a devout Muslim without affording him the same sorts of religious freedom they do to Christian inmates.  Is it as bad as it looks? (Yes.)

We begin, however, with an unfortunate Andrew Was Wrong (and a promise to get better)!

Then, it’s time for a depressing deep dive into Dunn v. Ray and what ‘religious freedom’ actually means to this Supreme Court.

After that, it’s time for a trip to Yodel Mountain where we review the latest ruling from Judge Amy Berman Jackson about exactly how big a liar Paul Manafort is.  (Hint:  yuge.)  What does this mean for a potential Manafort pardon, and does the federal system have parole?  Listen and find out!

We end, as always, with a brand new Thomas (& AG!) Take the Bar Exam Question #114 about whether banks own everything.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on S3E6 of the fabulous Mueller, She Wrote podcast; go check it out! 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. Supreme Court – Dunn v. Ray order
2. 11th Circuit ruling in Dunn v. Ray
3. We discussed Manafort’s plea on Episode OA: 211
4. Text of Manafort plea deal
5. Judge Jackson’s determination
6. 18 U.S.C. § 3624 Release of a prisoner (b) Credit Toward Service of Sentence for Satisfactory Behavior

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA250: One Quarter of a Thousand Episodes!

Today’s very special episode is our 250th!  To celebrate, we’ve assembled a compilation of some of our favorite moments over the past two and  half years.  If you’ve ever wanted to share the show to friends and family, this is the episode to do it.   In this episode, we explain:

  1. What the show’s all about
  2. How liberal we are (or aren’t)
  3. Whether we talk about non-political stuff
  4. How Trump changed the show, what “Yodel Mountain” is, what #ClearAsKushner is
  5. How seriously we take ourselves

And much more!

Then, as always, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #112, which involved an angry drunken… murder (?)  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. What’s the show about? It’s long-form investigative journalism into topics in the news that have a legal component to them from a left-leaning perspective. Shorter: If you like Rachel Maddow, you’ll like this show.

2. Things I’m most proud of:
Stormy Daniels OA: 154
Hillary Clinton’s Damned Emails OA: 13 (36:35-38:16)
Deep dives on abortion, on the Second Amendment,
Abortion – OA: 27 and OA: 28
The Second Amendment  – OA: 21 and OA: 26
The 2000 Election and Bush v. Gore Eps. 2-5 OA: 02 –

3. How lefty are you guys?
I mean, we definitely call out our own, like Jill Stein’s recounts.
OA: 25 (24:38-29:50)
Or Robert Reich OA: 59 (43:40-45:00)
Or Occupy Democrats…

4 . So is it all politics?
A.) Practical stuff like defining terms like spousal privilege
OA: 99 (2:30-8:50) or … not advice on how to choose a lawyer OA: 12 (9:19-10:40) …every Tuesday we do deep dives into legal topics, often apolitical.
PG&E in Episode OA: 241
B.) and the wacky and bizarre
OA: 12: Sovereign Citizens (19:52-24:12)
OA: 132: Earth Court (38:09-55:00)

5. So what changed?
We elected a criminally insane game show host who’s looting the public treasury?
Yodel Mountain OA: 45: (38:20-41:03)
Clear as Kushner OA: 53 (57:00-57:33)

6. How seriously do you take yourself?
Pretty clownhornin’ seriously!
OA: 166 (32:10-40:47)and (1:30:55 to end – intro)

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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OA249: Overturning Roe v. Wade Starts Today

Today’s episode sounds the alarm as to whether our activist right-wing Supreme Court is ready to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade and essentially permit the entire state of Louisiana to all but ban the right to an abortion in that state.  We’re NOT an alarmist podcast, but this is something you need to be watching.  We also follow up on the Trump Shutdown, answer a listener question regarding our discussion of the Hilton lawsuit from last episode, and (of course) take our weekly visit to Yodel Mountain, this time on the back of one Roger Stone.  Are these all just “process crimes?”  And what the hell does that mean, anyway?  Strap in and find out!

We begin, however, with a brief look at the end of the Trump Shutdown and what’s likely to come next.

After that, we tackle some questions and misperceptions regarding our story of the lawsuit against Hilton hotels from Episode 248.

Then, it’s time for the main segment, which takes a look at a pending Supreme Court motion and discusses what this means for the future of Roe v. Wade and the right to a legal abortion in this country.  Yes, it really is that significant.

Then, it’s time for a trip to Yodel Mountain to discuss “process crimes” rapid-fire round of questions about Trump’s shutdown.  Why is Congress still getting paid?  Who can sue, and why haven’t they?  Find out the answers to these questions and more!

We end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #112 about murder most foul!  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. Ann Coulter was responsible for the shutdown and Trump’s approval ratings take a hit. (Thomas Was Right)
2. A series of bipartisan proposals show support for ending shutdowns.
3. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
4. Several years ago, Andrew wrote on reasonable religious accommodations at Disney when he was still working for The Man.
5. We discussed Planned Parenthood v. Casey in OA: Episode 27 and OA Episode: 28.
6. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt 136 S.Ct. 2292 (2016)
7. June Medical Services v. Gee, 905 F.3d 787 (5th Cir. 2018)
8. MOTION TO STAY filed by June.
9. Dershowitz – what the defenders are saying and why it’s Wrong . Followed by Seth Abramson’s Smackdown thread.
10. Stone Indictment
11. More on Randy Credico from his wiki entry and twitter.
12. Roger Stone will work the media
13. Concord Management & Consulting media discovery.
14. The joint motion in Roger Stone’s case and the “voluminous and complex” evidence against him.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA246: Alex Jones & Sandy Hook

Today’s episode features a deep dive into the latest developments in the lawsuit brought by parents of the victims in the Sandy Hook Massacre against Alex Jones and Infowars for repeatedly portraying the school shooting as a hoax.

We begin, however, with a question regarding our views of the 2016 Presidential Election from a Trump supporter who’s hate-funding us.  Hey, we’re good to our word!

After that, it’s time to dig in to the defamation lawsuit against Alex Jones.  We tackle the minutiae — standing, jurisdiction, statute of limitations — and the big issues as well.  If you want to know where defamation law is headed in this era of “fake news,” well, this is the show for you!

Then, it’s time for a quick visit to Yodel Mountain to check in on Rudy Giuliani and Michael Cohen.  Because of course it is.

Finally, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #110, which involved a dentist being sued for malpractice and product liability. As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 138 of the Naked Mormonism podcast.  Give it a listen!  And 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. NYT articles on using third-party votes to hack elections.
The Secret Social Media Experiment in Alabama Senate Race Imitated Russian Tactics and how the Democrats Faked Online Push to Outlaw Alcohol in Alabama Race.
2. Politico story on the Justice Democrats plans to mount primaries against incumbent Democrats it deems too moderate with the apparent backing of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
3: NYT on Alex Jones and Sandy Hook
4. Media Matters 7 minute, 13 second compilation on Alex Jones about Sandy Hook.
5. Media Matters timeline of Jones promoting conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook.
6. Yodel Mountain: Rudy Giuliani is not helping!
7. WSJ on Cohen and poll-rigging and Cohen’s response on the story: “As for the @WSJ article on poll rigging, what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump @POTUS. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”
8. The GLORIOUS “Women for Cohen” Twitter account: Because some things on twitter make you ask, “Why?”.

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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OA239: The Fourth Circuit’s Puzzling Emoluments Ruling

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into the just-released one-page order by the Fourth Circuit staying all discovery in the Emoluments litigation brought by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.  How do we fill more than an hour’s worth of time on one page?  Why is this ruling really, really bad for everyone??  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a brief foray up Yodel Mountain to discuss (1) the reports circulating that Michael Cohen’s phone was in Prague in the summer of 2016, and (2) the ethics review of “Acting” Attorney General Matthew Whitaker concerning the Mueller probe.

After that, it’s time for a deep dive into the Emoluments litigation, the strange procedural posture of Trump’s response, and what this means for civil litigation generally (and this case in particular).  You won’t want to miss it!

Then we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #107 on defamation.  As always, 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

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. Click here to read the Whitaker ethics review letter, and here to read the Steele dossier.
  2. We last discussed the Emoluments litigation in Episode 226.
  3. You can check out all of these documents:  the Fourth Circuit’s order, the motion to stay, and the opposition filed by Frosh.
  4. Trump’s argument is based on 28 USC § 1292(b) and relies on Fernandez-Roque v. Smith, 671 F.2d 426 (11th Cir. 1982).

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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