Discover#SistersInLaw185: Live In Boston: Verdict Day
185: Live In Boston: Verdict Day

185: Live In Boston: Verdict Day

Update: 2024-06-0112
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The #SistersInLaw podcast continues its discussion of the rule of law, focusing on the Trump verdict and its implications. The hosts delve into the ethical obligations of Supreme Court justices, particularly regarding Justice Alito and Justice Thomas, and explore potential avenues for holding them accountable, including complaints to state bars. The conversation then shifts to the potential for further erosion of rights in the wake of the Dobbs decision, with the hosts expressing concerns about the future of contraception, gay marriage, and voting rights. The episode features a lively Q&A session with the audience, addressing topics such as the appeal process for the Trump verdict, the impact of overturning Chevron, and the importance of public service. The hosts emphasize the need for civic engagement and encourage listeners to support organizations that advocate for change.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction and Trump Verdict Celebration

This Chapter begins with the introduction of the #SistersInLaw podcast and a lively celebration of the rule of law in Boston, coinciding with the announcement of Donald Trump's conviction on 34 counts. The hosts, Joyce Vance, Jill Wine-Banks, Kimberly Atkins Stohr, and Barbara McQuade, express their excitement and discuss the significance of the verdict.

00:11:50
Reactions to the Trump Verdict

This Chapter delves into the hosts' reactions to the Trump verdict. They discuss their initial expectations, the strength of the evidence, and the speed of the jury's decision. They also highlight the role of key witnesses, including Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, in connecting the dots and establishing the credibility of the case.

00:18:37
Impact of the Trump Verdict

This Chapter explores the broader implications of the Trump verdict, particularly the fact that it is the first criminal conviction against a former president. The hosts discuss the significance of the charges, the potential for future prosecutions, and the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions.

00:20:23
Addressing Misconceptions about the Charges

This Chapter addresses common misconceptions about the charges against Trump, particularly the notion that the hush money payments were not a serious offense. The hosts explain the legal basis for the charges, the potential impact of the payments on the 2016 election, and the importance of transparency in government.

00:23:38
Trump's Sentencing and Potential Consequences

This Chapter focuses on the upcoming sentencing of Donald Trump and the potential consequences he may face. The hosts discuss the factors that will be considered by the judge, including Trump's repeated violations of gag orders and his lack of remorse. They also address the potential for Trump to appeal the conviction and the possibility of him being incarcerated.

00:27:21
Protecting Jurors from Retaliation

This Chapter addresses the need to protect jurors from potential retaliation from Trump and his supporters. The hosts discuss the history of attacks on jurors, staff, and judges in previous cases involving Trump, and they call for increased security measures to ensure the safety of those involved in the trial.

00:30:18
The Importance of the Trump Verdict

This Chapter emphasizes the importance of the Trump verdict, despite the fact that it may be seen as a lesser charge compared to other pending cases. The hosts argue that the verdict represents a significant step towards accountability for Trump's actions and that it should serve as a reminder to voters of his pattern of behavior.

00:31:00
Trump's Voting Rights and the Implications of a Felony Conviction

This Chapter explores the implications of Trump's felony conviction on his voting rights, particularly in the state of Florida. The hosts discuss the legal complexities surrounding voting rights for convicted felons and the potential for Trump to be barred from voting if he is sentenced to custody.

00:34:44
Deep Dive into Justice Alito and Justice Thomas

This Chapter shifts the focus to the Supreme Court, specifically addressing the controversies surrounding Justice Alito and Justice Thomas. The hosts discuss the facts surrounding their wives' involvement in the Stop the Steal movement and the potential for bias in their rulings on cases involving Donald Trump.

00:38:54
The Lack of Ethics in the Supreme Court

This Chapter examines the lack of ethics in the Supreme Court, particularly the absence of enforceable ethics guidelines for justices. The hosts discuss the recent adoption of voluntary ethics rules, the justices' refusal to police themselves, and the potential for conflict of interest.

01:22:06
Holding Supreme Court Justices Accountable

This Chapter explores the potential for holding Supreme Court justices accountable for ethical violations. The hosts discuss the idea of filing complaints with state bars where the justices are members, citing the principle of "if you see something, you are obligated to say something." They also discuss the op-ed by Jamie Rask, which argues that fellow justices should demand the recusal of Alito and Thomas due to their ethical obligations.

01:24:13
Fear of Further Erosion of Rights

This Chapter addresses the fear that the Dobbs decision could lead to the erosion of other rights, particularly contraception and gay marriage. The hosts acknowledge the seriousness of these concerns, citing Clarence Thomas's dissenting opinions and concurrences in previous cases. They emphasize the need to take these concerns seriously and to be prepared for potential challenges to these rights.

01:25:16
Supporting Women and Girls

This Chapter discusses the importance of supporting women and girls who aspire to careers in law and other fields. The hosts respond to a question about how to address the demeaning comments made by men about women's potential and roles in society. They highlight the importance of men being allies in lifting up women and of raising sons who do not subscribe to toxic masculinity.

01:30:05
Hypothetical Plea Deal for Trump

This Chapter explores a hypothetical plea deal that could be offered to Donald Trump in the January 6th case. The hosts, as former prosecutors, discuss the potential charges and sentencing guidelines, as well as the possibility of including a term prohibiting Trump from running for office. They acknowledge that Trump is unlikely to accept such a deal, but emphasize the importance of holding him accountable for his actions.

01:32:56
Paths to Law Careers

This Chapter explores the paths that led the hosts to their careers in law. They share personal experiences that influenced their choices, including the impact of Watergate, the challenges of sexism in the journalism industry, and the importance of public service.

01:35:50
Understanding Trump's Appeal

This Chapter discusses the appeal of Donald Trump to his supporters. The hosts attribute his appeal to fear and anxiety about a changing country, particularly the demographic shift towards a more diverse population. They encourage listeners to address these fears and to promote understanding and acceptance of diversity.

01:37:05
Trump's Appeal Process

This Chapter addresses the appeal process for the Trump verdict and its potential timeline. The hosts discuss Trump's right to appeal and the likelihood that the process will extend beyond the upcoming election. They also address the potential for Trump to be incarcerated pending the outcome of the appeal.

01:38:36
Implications of Overturning Chevron

This Chapter explores the potential implications of the Supreme Court overturning the Chevron deference doctrine on the new non-compete rule. The hosts discuss the importance of the rule and the potential for challenges to it, but express uncertainty about the impact of overturning Chevron due to other recent Supreme Court decisions that have limited the power of administrative agencies.

01:41:17
Remand and Sentencing Appeals

This Chapter discusses the possibility of a remand in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, potentially involving a different judge. The hosts discuss the standards for remand in the 11th circuit and the likelihood of such an outcome, particularly given Judge Cannon's previous rulings. They also offer advice to a listener studying for the bar exam.

01:43:54
Fixing Loopholes in the Constitution

This Chapter addresses the question of whether constitutional amendments are necessary to address loopholes that allow felons to potentially become president. The hosts emphasize the importance of civic engagement and voting for representatives who will work to address these issues, regardless of their political affiliation.

01:46:06
Erosion of Separation of Church and State

This Chapter discusses the movement to erode the separation of church and state. The hosts express their concerns about the increasing influence of religious ideology in government and the use of Christianity as a tool for repression. They emphasize the importance of upholding the First Amendment and protecting religious freedom for all.

01:48:17
Supporting Fani Willis

This Chapter addresses the question of how to support Fani Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney, as she prosecutes the case against Donald Trump in Georgia. The hosts encourage listeners to support Willis and to recognize the challenges of prosecuting a complex RICO case. They also emphasize the importance of resisting attempts to politicize the case and to avoid blaming Willis for any delays.

01:50:27
SCOTUS Immunity Ruling

This Chapter addresses the question of whether the Supreme Court is holding off on issuing a ruling on immunity until after the Trump verdict. The hosts, based on their experience, believe that the two events are unrelated and that the Supreme Court's decision is likely to be delayed until the end of the term.

01:51:40
Reforming the Senate Judiciary Committee

This Chapter explores the idea of reforming the Senate Judiciary Committee to make it more non-partisan. The hosts acknowledge the challenges of achieving non-partisanship in a highly divided country, but believe that it is an important goal. They also discuss other potential reforms to the Supreme Court, such as term limits and age limits.

01:53:36
Judge Cannon's Confidence

This Chapter addresses the question of why Judge Cannon appears so confident in her rulings in the Mar-a-Lago documents case. The hosts discuss the possibility of bias, but caution against making assumptions without concrete evidence. They also discuss the importance of holding judges accountable for their rulings.

01:55:17
Making a Case for Public Interest Law

This Chapter addresses the question of why someone would choose a career in public interest law. The hosts, who have experience in both private practice and public service, share their perspectives on the importance of working in the public sector and the satisfaction of making a difference in people's lives.

01:58:13
The Power of Four Women Lawyers

This Chapter reflects on the significance of four women lawyers receiving a standing ovation at a packed event. The hosts share their feelings of inspiration and empowerment, and discuss the importance of role models for young women. They also express their optimism about the future of law and the role of young people in shaping a more just society.

Keywords

Donald Trump
Donald John Trump is an American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. He is a controversial figure known for his business dealings, reality television appearances, and political career. He is the subject of numerous legal investigations and prosecutions, including the recent conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York.

Trump Verdict
The Trump verdict refers to the conviction of Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York. The verdict was announced on May 30, 2023, and it marks the first criminal conviction against a former president of the United States. The charges stem from Trump's alleged efforts to conceal a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court in the country. It is composed of nine justices who are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The Supreme Court has the power to review laws passed by Congress and state legislatures, and it plays a significant role in shaping American law and society. The court has been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate in recent years, particularly regarding its rulings on issues such as abortion, gun control, and voting rights.

Justice Alito
Samuel Alito is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006. Alito is known for his conservative judicial philosophy and his rulings on issues such as abortion, gun control, and religious freedom. He has been the subject of controversy in recent years due to his alleged failure to recuse himself from cases involving Donald Trump, as well as his involvement in a luxury fishing trip with a conservative donor.

Justice Thomas
Clarence Thomas is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. Thomas is known for his conservative judicial philosophy and his rulings on issues such as affirmative action, campaign finance, and gun control. He has been the subject of controversy in recent years due to his wife's involvement in the Stop the Steal movement and his alleged failure to disclose gifts and travel expenses from conservative donors.

Stop the Steal
Stop the Steal is a political movement that emerged after the 2020 presidential election. The movement, largely fueled by false claims of widespread voter fraud, sought to overturn the results of the election and prevent Joe Biden from taking office. The movement has been widely condemned by election officials, legal experts, and fact-checkers, and it played a significant role in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Judge Cannon
Aileen Cannon is a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. She was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2020. Cannon has been the subject of controversy due to her rulings in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, which have been seen as favorable to Trump. She has been criticized for delaying the case, refusing to rule on key motions, and for her handling of the government's efforts to protect national security secrets.

Ethics
Ethics refers to the moral principles that guide an individual's behavior. In the context of the Supreme Court, ethics refers to the standards of conduct that justices are expected to uphold. These standards include avoiding conflicts of interest, maintaining impartiality, and disclosing financial and personal relationships that could influence their rulings. The Supreme Court has been criticized for its lack of enforceable ethics rules, which has led to concerns about the integrity of the court.

Recusal
Recusal refers to the act of a judge or justice withdrawing from a case due to a potential conflict of interest. Recusal is intended to ensure that judges and justices are impartial and that their rulings are not influenced by personal biases or relationships. The Supreme Court has been the subject of debate regarding the standards for recusal, particularly in cases involving Donald Trump.

Election Interference
Election interference refers to any attempt to influence the outcome of an election through illegal or unethical means. This can include activities such as voter suppression, spreading misinformation, hacking into voting systems, or bribing election officials. The Trump verdict highlights the potential for election interference through the falsification of business records, as well as the importance of protecting the integrity of elections.

Q&A

  • What are the key takeaways from the Trump verdict?

    The Trump verdict represents a significant step towards accountability for Trump's actions and highlights the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions, even those in positions of power. It also underscores the strength of evidence in a documents case and the role of key witnesses in establishing credibility.

  • What are the main concerns surrounding Justice Alito and Justice Thomas?

    The main concerns surrounding Justice Alito and Justice Thomas stem from their wives' involvement in the Stop the Steal movement and the potential for bias in their rulings on cases involving Donald Trump. Their failure to recuse themselves from these cases raises questions about their impartiality and the integrity of the Supreme Court.

  • What are the potential solutions to the lack of ethics in the Supreme Court?

    Potential solutions to the lack of ethics in the Supreme Court include term limits, an inspector general for the Supreme Court, and congressional action to enforce ethics rules. These solutions aim to address the court's refusal to police itself and to restore public confidence in its operations.

  • What are the key issues surrounding Judge Cannon's rulings in the Mar-a-Lago documents case?

    Key issues surrounding Judge Cannon's rulings in the Mar-a-Lago documents case include her delays in the case, her refusal to rule on key motions, and her handling of the government's efforts to protect national security secrets. Her rulings have been seen as favorable to Trump and have raised concerns about her impartiality.

  • What are the potential consequences of Trump's conviction on his voting rights?

    Trump's conviction could potentially bar him from voting in Florida if he is sentenced to custody. The legal complexities surrounding voting rights for convicted felons vary by state, and the outcome of Trump's case could have significant implications for his future political activities.

  • What are the hosts' views on the effectiveness of protests in influencing the Supreme Court?

    The hosts have mixed views on the effectiveness of protests in influencing the Supreme Court. While they acknowledge the power of protests to raise awareness and mobilize public opinion, they also believe that more tangible actions, such as voting and supporting organizations that advocate for change, are more likely to bring about meaningful reform.

  • What are the hosts' recommendations for improving civic education in schools?

    The hosts believe that civic education is essential for a functioning democracy and that it should be a priority in schools. They encourage listeners to get involved in their local school boards and to advocate for the inclusion of comprehensive civic education in the curriculum.

  • What are the hosts' recommendations for protecting the integrity of elections?

    The hosts emphasize the importance of supporting election workers and officials who are working to protect the integrity of elections. They also encourage listeners to get involved in their local communities and to advocate for policies that strengthen election security.

  • What are the hosts' views on the role of the media in holding the Supreme Court accountable?

    The hosts believe that the media plays a crucial role in holding the Supreme Court accountable. They highlight the importance of investigative journalism, fact-checking, and public scrutiny in exposing potential conflicts of interest and ethical violations within the court.

  • What are the hosts' overall message to listeners?

    The hosts' overall message to listeners is to stay informed, engaged, and active in their democracy. They encourage listeners to vote, to support organizations that advocate for change, and to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.

Show Notes

Barb McQuade hosts #SistersInLaw live in Boston to review the charges in Manhattan that resulted in 34 guilty verdicts against Trump, untangle the five crimes jurors could use to justify their vote, and explain the appeals and sentencing process. Then, the #Sisters expose the flaws in SCOTUS oversight and ethics by laying out the breaches of Justices Alito, Thomas, and their wives, exploring the potential of putting the court on the ballot, term limits, and congressional oversight to restore faith in the institution.  They also discuss Judge Cannon’s denial of Jack Smith’s gag order and her delaying actions in the MAL case before taking questions on everything from election certification to women’s rights after Dobbs.





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185: Live In Boston: Verdict Day

185: Live In Boston: Verdict Day

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