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Civil Discourse Podcast

Companion to the podcast

Summer of SCOTUS : Marbury Starts Us Off (Aired 6/05/2020)

Nia and Aughie are spending the next several weeks focusing on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). This episode explains the case Marbury v Madison, which led to judicial review, and set the tone for the importance of the SCOTUS going forward. Learn about the maneuvering of Madison, Marshall, Adams and Jefferson as the third branch of government finds its feet.

SCOTUS on Zoom (Aired 6/12/2020)

Nia and Aughie discuss the new rules for oral arguments as the Court adjusts to meeting under social distancing guidelines. Mention is made of the problems created by using a zoom-like software to hold arguments (and the flush heard around the legal world). 

Summer of SCOTUS: Writ of Certiorari (Aired 6/19/2020)

In this episode, Nia and Aughie discuss the application for a hearing before the Supreme Court, called a writ of certiorari. Aughie details the division of labor, brief building process, and clerk work of the Supreme Court, leading to the Justices' decisions about taking a case.

Summer of SCOTUS: Georgia Annotations (Aired 6/26/2020)

In this episode, Aughie and Nia discuss the Georgia v Public Resource case decided before the Supreme Court, October term, 2019. The holding: Under the government edicts doctrine, the annotations beneath the statutory provisions in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated are ineligible for copyright protection (SCOTUSblog).

Summer of SCOTUS : Guns of New York (Aired 7/03/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss this Second Amendment case, originally opposing the travel ban on guns outside og going to firing ranges, as set by New York City. The case eventually is eventually declared moot (as the city rescinded the law), but there is a lingering question of lower court's application of SCOTUS Second Amendment precedent.

Summer of SCOTUS : Bostock (Aired 7/03/2020)

Nia and Aughie discuss the meaning of "sex" as written into Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, considering how it may pertain to being fired for being homosexual or transgender. They also talk at length about the concepts of Constitutional textualism, as interpreted by several justices.

Summer of SCOTUS: Pipelines, Sanctuary Cities, and Guns, oh My! (Aired 7/10/2020)

In this episode, Nia and Aughie discuss three SCOTUS rulings: the pipeline ruling under the Appalachian Trail, the sanctuary city ruling, and the declination to take a Second Amendment case from the 10 proposed. Each of these rulings have long-term implications for federal and state powers. 

Summer of SCOTUS: Seila, June Medical, and Espinoza (Aired 7/18/2020)

In this long episode, Nia and Aughie talk about three Supreme Court rulings: Seila Law, June Medical, and Espinoza. The Seila ruling considers whether a government official can fine companies, when that official's position may or may not be constitutionally guided. The June Medical ruling concerned the question of undue burden for women seeking abortions. Nia and Aughie disagree on the third ruling, Espinoza (regarding charitable donations and religious schools), but do so civilly.

Summer of SCOTUS: Religious Employment (Aired 7/24/2020)

In the rulings for these two cases, Aughie and Nia wrestle with the competing interests of the 1st Amendment's causes regarding religion, civil rights, and moral exceptions for employers.  In the first case, the SCOTUS ruling upholds the moral or religious exemption from being required to cover their employees' contraception. In the second case, the question of the ministerial exception is explored.

Summer of SCOTUS: Faithless Electors (Aired 7/24/2020)

Aughie and Nia follow up an earlier podcast (Electoral College) with the rulings that were pending at that time. In a unanimous decision, the SCOTUS held that electors must follow the rules their states have set out for voting in the electoral college. The SCOTUS also held that states could punish electors that "go rogue". Discussion ensued on the long term effect this may have on the functioning of the Electoral College.

Summer of SCOTUS: McGirt (Aired 7/31/2020)

Nia and Aughie grapple with SCOTUS rulings and questions of racism and Congressional neglect as they pertain to treaties with Native American tribes. In this case, the SCOTUS ruled that the Creek Nation's 1833 and 1856 treaties with the federal government are still in place, bringing into question who has authority over the eastern portion of the state of Oklahoma.

Summer of SCOTUS: Taxes (Aired 7/31/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss the SCOTUS rulings concerning access to President Donald Trump's tax records, and whether U.S. Presidents can claim absolute immunity from the state criminal process. In the instance of Vance, the SCOTUS ruled that the President does not have immunity from a state criminal subpoena. In the instance of Mazars, the SCOTUS ruled that the Congress must present a compelling case to a judge (and outlined questions that should be asked) to justify their subpoenas.

Summer of SCOTUS: DACA (Aired 8/07/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss the SCOTUS ruling in the case involving the Trump Administration's attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The SCOTUS ruling focused on the Administrative Procedures Act, and whether the Trump Administration properly applied the necessary procedures to rescind DACA.

Summer of SCOTUS: Wrap Up (Aired 8/14/2020)

Nia and Aughie explore themes from the summer of SCOTUS, from the effects of COVID-19 to who wrote the most opinions. Themes include up and downsides to oral arguments, John Roberts' voting record, rulings all over the ideological spectrum, voting and opinion writing, and the future docket of the Court.