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Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, justice, and the courts
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Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, justice, and the courts

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A show about the law and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America.

214 Episodes
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This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and as the withdrawal from Afghanistan dominates the headlines, so does the conversation about the forever war and its implications. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Baher Azmy, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Azmy has been challenging the U.S. government repeatedly over the past two decades, litigating matters from the rights of Guantanamo detainees, to discriminatory policing practices, to government surveillance, to the rights of asylum seekers and accountability for victims of torture. Azmy is also the author of the chapter "Crisis Lawyering in a Lawless Space: Reflections on Nearly Two Decades of Representing Guantánamo Detainees" in the Crisis Lawyering collection from NYU Press. In our Slate Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Mark Joseph Stern to talk about a case concerning religious freedom in the execution chamber, which made it off the shadow docket and into the light of day. They also explore who on earth has standing in Texas’ SB 8 anti-abortion law.  Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Urgent times call for urgent conversations as Professor Michele Goodwin and Rebecca Traister join Dahlia Lithwick for an emergency Amicus to discuss what’s new and what’s very old about SB 8, the law that allowed Texas to functionally overturn Roe v Wade. They also unpack what it really means when five justices on the Supreme Court hold up their hands as if to say “nothing we can do.”  Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by My Name Is Pauli Murray directors, Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and by Professor Patricia Bell-Scott, a consulting producer on the film and professor emerita of women’s studies and human development and family science at the University of Georgia. Professor Bell-Scott’s biography, The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice,won the Lillian Smith Book Award. In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern joins Dahlia to discuss this week’s terrible shadow docket decisions. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Professor Michael Heller, one of the authors of Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives, for the latest installment of Amicus’ summer season of episodes exploring books and films about the law.  Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Continuing Amicus’ summer season of deep dives into books, films, and ideas beyond the confines of the Supreme Court chamber, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by historian and chair of African American studies at Emory University professor Carol Anderson to talk about her book The Second. They discuss the long anti-Black history of gun laws in the United States and how race defines gun rights today.  Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the first of Amicus’ summer season of conversations, Dahlia Lithwick tackles one of the major challenges of this moment: how to fix American democracy.  Dahlia is joined  by the Nation’s Elie Mystal and former chief of staff for Sen. Harry Reid and author of Kill Switch, Adam Jentleson. In a discussion that was taped as part of the Crosscut Festival, they discuss the filibuster, voting rights and court reform––and whether the Biden administration has left it too late to tackle all three.  Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A Supreme Court brain trust gathers for this year’s Amicus Breakfast Table. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Melissa Murray, professor at NYU School of Law and co-host of the podcast Strict Scrutiny; Jeffrey Fisher, Stanford Law School professor and co-director of Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation clinic; Perry Grossman*, senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project; and of course, Slate’s own Mark Joseph Stern. Together, they analyze the shape of the court and the ramification of its decisions at the end of the 2020 term.  *Perry Grossman appeared on this podcast in a personal capacity, and views expressed do not necessarily represent the NYCLU. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As the big decisions for the term start to cascade down from the high court, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by one of the nation’s foremost thinkers and writers about the Supreme Court: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of Berkeley Law School. Together, they unravel the ruling on the Affordable Care Act, try to discern the significance of the unanimous decision in Fulton, and Dean Chemerinsky outlines why he’s calling on Justice Stephen Breyer to step down.   In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern explains the other big decision in Nestle v Doe, and whether the pessimism around Fulton is warranted.  Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick and Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern offer analysis of the big decisions due from SCOTUS any minute, and Dahlia hosts a conversation with Rep Katie Porter about the need for laws to shore up toppled norms.  In our Slate Plus segment, Mark returns to discuss the Stanford law student targeted by the Federalist Society. Nicholas Wallace nearly missed out on getting his diploma after fellow law students and the university mistook satire for defamation. Also Mark and Dahlia are getting “free speech for me but not for thee” tattoos. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Political Gabfest—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on Amicus. Sign up now at slate.com/amicusplus to help support our work. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hi Amicus listeners. Some of you might be familiar with The Waves, Slate’s podcast about feminism and gender, which has been around for years in various forms. The Waves went on hiatus at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, but I’m glad to say that it is back. Every Thursday, you’ll find a new episode in your feed, looking at the news and culture through the lens of gender. We thought Amicus listeners would enjoy this week’s episode, featuring a conversation between Slate's Christina Cauterucci and Robin Marty, author of The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America, gaming out the potential post-Roe future. If you like it, please subscribe to The Waves wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by two independent abortion providers, Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Women's Health and Tammi Kromenaker of Red River Women's Clinic, to share their reactions to two huge pieces of news in reproductive rights and health this week: the Supreme Court’s Dobbs grant, and SB8 in Texas. Then, Ian Milhiser of Vox and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island join Dahlia to discuss the courts and democracy, and why Clarence Thomas may be the most consequential justice for a generation. In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern joins Dahlia to discuss why the justices feel emboldened to take up such blockbuster cases for next term. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Political Gabfest—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on Amicus. Sign up now at slate.com/amicusplus to help support our work. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. . Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rudy and the Death of Truth

Rudy and the Death of Truth

2021-05-0801:09:001

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, host of Stay Tuned with Preet, and author of Doing Justice. Bharara gives an insider’s view of Rudy Giuliani’s current plight, they also discuss this week’s ruling from a federal judge rebuking former attorney general Bill Barr. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on Amicus. Sign up now at slate.com/amicusplus to help support our work. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the wake of the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, journalism professor Allissa Richardson joins Dahlia Lithwick to discuss what it is to bear witness while Black in America, and why the media needs to stop airing the videos. (This is the interview with Vanita Gupta that Dahlia mentions. In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern and Dahlia probe the duplicity at the high court in this week's shocking juvenile life without parole decision, why justices insisting they're best friends really isn't the answer to calls for court reform, and a look ahead to the biggest case so far this term that you probably haven't heard much about. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a Brennan Center fellow and professor at Stetson University, to discuss how, when it comes to corporate influence over politics, money talks - but should it actually speak? From Georgia boycotts to campaign finance, and Mitch McConnell’s apparent new take on Citizens United.  In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern joins Dahlia to discuss Justice Clarence Thomas’ anti-big-tech energy, why progressives need to stop pressuring Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, the rising tide of anti-trans bills around the country, and Joe Biden’s Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.   Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Woulda, Coulda SCOTUS

Woulda, Coulda SCOTUS

2021-03-2752:503

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Adam Cohen to talk about Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America, and whether Merrick Garland should heed calls to reinvestigate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern on Cedar Point Nursery v Hassid, the big union case before the court this week, guns at the 9th Circuit, and Georgia’s vote-suppression legislation push.  Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon to discuss voting rights, democratic reform, and what it will take to get the For the People Act through Congress. This conversation was recorded as part of this year’s SXSW. Slate Plus members have access to the whole interview.  Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Jessica Ring Amunson, who argued Brnovich v DNC at the Supreme Court this month, to take us inside the arguments and the key questions, and also to look at the wider landscape for voting rights.  Then Dahlia’s joined by Jamal Greene who says Americans’ thinking about rights is all wrong, as they discuss his new book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart. In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern joins Dahlia to thrash out the major issues of the week we couldn’t get to in the main show, including racism at Georgetown University Law Center, Chief Justice John Roberts’ lone dissent, and the last of the kraken election cases batted away from the high court.  Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, to try to unpack how the First Amendment has become the answer to everything and yet actually applies to so few of the speech issues we face.  In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern takes a look at Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissent this week that sounded a lot like an endorsement of the Big Lie of 2020: Just because there’s no evidence of voter fraud, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by renowned communications researcher and campaign adviser Anat Shenker-Osorio to talk about the messaging of impeachment outside the lens of the law. Then, Bob Bauer, former White House counsel under President Barack Obama and senior adviser to the 2020 Biden campaign, joins Dahlia to discuss the significance of this impeachment as a legal matter, and the next steps needed when the trial ends (in acquittal).  In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern on the guessing-game that is the law of Covid and death-penalty protocols in late-night SCOTUS orders. Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Inside Impeachment

Inside Impeachment

2021-01-3052:283

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Daniel Goldman, who spearheaded the first round of impeachment hearings in the House in December 2019 as the senior adviser and director of investigations for the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. They examine what impeachment last time can teach us about impeachment this time, and why we’ve got to stop thinking like lawyers when it comes to the Senate trial. In our Slate Plus segment, Mark Joseph Stern joins Dahlia to discuss the attempted sub-coup at the Justice Department, the first Biden-era sightings of the long tail of Trump’s judicial appointments, and the conservative legal establishment’s choice to embrace Trumpists after Jan. 6.  Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. Podcast production by Sara Burningham. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (43)

Michael Meenan

Dahlia - Thank you for providing an excellent analysis of scienter - that establishes the mens rea of Trump's criminal culpability. I was very pleased that you mentioned Trump's stochastic behavior and cited Michael Cohen's testimony as a means toward dismantling any plausible deniability. I think the Senate trial should be bifurcated: first, deal with the constitutionality of the proceeding; and, second, proceed to the merits. This will force Republican senators to rule on Trump's culpability separately from the constitutionality of the proceeding. And, of course, it is constitutional. Trump was impeached prior to leaving office, and viable remedies remain. The fact that he was legally required to leave office is irrelevant.

Jan 31st
Reply

Alex Mercedes

the issues of naming and language have seemed central to me for the entirety of T***p's time in the WH. it has seemed to me that not so much an issue of not having words as a) being unaccustomed to and afraid of existing words like "white supremacy" and "sedition" and "terrorist" and "racist" and b) a general disinclination throughout the culture to call white men (especially) on their bad behavior. I believe there's some kind of corollary between the erosion of truth among us and the inability (unwillingness? refusal?) to call things by their true (if uncomfortable) names.

Jan 9th
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Alex Mercedes

I joined HCR's Letter fan club a month or so ago. I also read her around 5 am. reading her is as essential to my self-care regimen as meditation. I didn't know her credentials and I'd never heard her voice. both boxes got checked during this episode and I'm an even bigger fan now -- of both of you!

Oct 25th
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Alex Mercedes

Five stars and bravo and thank you for comments re The Daily interview. Barbaro's penchant for inflexible defense of a viewpoint he choses before the interview starts is one of several modes he has that drive me nuts. I feel affirmed hearing that someone I admire as much as Ms Lithwick agrees.

Oct 19th
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Alex Mercedes

whoa! so many broad-brush pronouncements. your guest's understanding of the defining behavior and definitions of "progressive" and "liberal" and "the Left" are dated. he might explore TYT news/movement for a more up to date appreciation of terms.

Oct 10th
Reply (3)

Alex Mercedes

I find Carol Anderson very difficult to follow. much of what she says is not new information and she wanders from issue to issue.

Oct 4th
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Alex Mercedes

like a breath of fresh air listening to a real-deal conversation between knowledgeable people about the future of the Supreme Court. thank you!

Sep 27th
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Alex Mercedes

"clarion voice". exactly. thank you

Sep 14th
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Alex Mercedes

my god. is there a way out of this? voting, yes, but it sounds to me like a lot of this mess is not solvable before the election even while it seriously challenges the possibility of a fair election. if there is a way forward, please do a program -- soon -- about how we stop their dastardly project.

Sep 13th
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Alex Mercedes

what?! there's a printed version? thanks for that info.

Aug 17th
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Alex Mercedes

excellent episode!! so much truth and passion and intelligence packed into 56 minutes. I wept. I took notes. I took some deep, full breaths. knowing that these two brilliant women are alive and awake and engaged in the struggle -- the struggle brave citizens are waging in the streets of America even as I write these words -- gives me something like hope.

Jun 13th
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Alex Mercedes

clearly your guest is hugely talented and knowledgeable. which makes her nervous laughter at IMO inappropriate times during the interview all the more unsettling. perhaps she means it as an expression of frustration or irony. I'd feel better served without the laughter but appreciate immensely her expertise.

Mar 14th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

outstanding episode!!!

Mar 6th
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Alex Mercedes

terrifying. just completed an application online to be an election worker in my county. Americans need to be moving on this immediately.

Feb 3rd
Reply

Tatyana Noyb

Yikes. I normally write substantive comments. Yikes.

Jan 25th
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Tatyana Noyb

Heartbreaking. Terrified little persons. How sad American children are also forced to think about 'war'.

Dec 19th
Reply (1)

Tatyana Noyb

Remarkably educational and kind exchange, thank you so much.

Nov 30th
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Accordionbabe

Emoluments episode was so clear for today and for the future. That we're discussing it because of Trump's loosey-goosey adherence is a wake up call for ALL Americans, esp. those with hands in the till. Keep them coming please.

Nov 16th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

as for "white fragility": I encourage your guest to take a closer look at the meaning of term and the reason Dr. DiAngelo coined it.

Oct 30th
Reply (1)

Alex Mercedes

identifying "mansplaining" when it occurs is not an attempt to silence men. it's an attempt to discontinue a wasteful conversation style and encourage a more productive and egalitarian style of communication. everybody wins.

Oct 30th
Reply (1)
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