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This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, a free speech case that will determine whether former Georgia Gwinnett College student Chike Uzuegbunam is entitled to nominal damages from an unconstitutional government policy when that policy has since been changed. “Arguably there is no more important constitutional…
 
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Rep. Liz Cheney late Tuesday afternoon. “Everything that followed was his doing.” This week, our hosts discuss the brewing showdown over impeachment between Cheney—the House’s No.3 Republican—and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. How does…
 
In a break from our current news cycle, Advisory Opinions tackles “the more mundane issue of teenage girls complaining” in a discussion about Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L, one of the Supreme Court’s latest cert grants addressing the issue of off-campus student speech. Not to worry, our hosts also dig into the more pressing issues of the day.…
 
Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to Donald Trump’s election-related conspiracy-mongering in the weeks since November 3. Politico’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta has been interacting with Trump supporters for months now and joins today’s show to explain why Wednesday’…
 
During a press conference on Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for President Trump’s removal from office. “Yesterday, the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America,” Pelosi said, shortly before demanding the invocation of the 25th Amendment. On today’s podcast, our hosts talk about the possibility…
 
Was Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by Trump rally-goers inevitable? Should President Trump be impeached? Where does the Republican Party go from here? Our staff members have been warning about the dangers of Trumpism long before The Dispatch was launched in October 2019. But as David says, “never has vindication felt so miserable.” After all, …
 
After a holiday hiatus from podcasting, our hosts have quite a bit of news to catch up on. Did Trump commit election fraud during his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger? Will Trump’s election conspiracy theorizing depress Republican turnout in Tuesday’s Georgia Senate races? What should we expect when Congress convenes on…
 
On today’s holiday mailbag edition of the podcast, David and Sarah answer a series of listener questions ranging from legal history to college football. Do you have to admit guilt to accept a pardon? Are there any wrongfully decided Supreme Court cases that are still on the books? Is there a secular argument for prohibiting abortion or does restric…
 
House Democrats are heading into next year with the slimmest majority either party has seen in two decades. How might this shape intra-party relations among Democrats moving forward? “The new dynamic will force Democratic leaders to change their tactics, both in drafting bills and in reining in the rank and file,” Haley Byrd Wilt writes in her debu…
 
The Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to hear a case concerning whether the NCAA’s eligibility rules for student compensation violate federal antitrust law. Should the NCAA have the right to create a universal regime of amateur athletics? Is this dispute more of a legislative problem? Or is it an antitrust problem that should be resolved by the cou…
 
In the weeks following November 3, a surprising number of state Republican parties have made it their mission to attack any high ranking GOP officials in their state who have certified or somehow acknowledged Joe Biden’s electoral victory over President Trump. How will this GOP infighting play out over the next few months? Declan joins Sarah, David…
 
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit contesting the election results in four battleground states, ruling that “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.” What does the court’s order mean in plain English? Should the jus…
 
How might the Supreme Court respond to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit contesting the results of the election? Why did so many House members and state attorneys general file amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit? Is Paxton’s legal effort just a political stunt? On today’s episode, Sarah and Steve are joined by Ilya Shapiro—director of…
 
On Wednesday, 17 state attorneys general filed amicus briefs in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit contesting the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. To make matters more interesting, President Donald Trump has said he will join the lawsuit and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has agreed to argue …
 
The Supreme Court denied injunctive relief on Tuesday to Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly in a one-sentence order that unceremoniously ended the Republican lawmaker’s bid to overturn his state’s election results. “What distinguished this case was it actually had an interesting question of law in it,” David argues on today’s show, in reference to the Pe…
 
U.S. federal law’s “safe harbor deadline” means that most presidential election law cases will be resolved by tomorrow, December 8. Today, David and Sarah discuss what’s next for Trump loyalists who have an unshakable belief that the election was stolen. Stay tuned for a conversation about changes to the citizenship test, a 9th Circuit transgender …
 
After Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling asked GOP lawmakers to tone down the unsubstantiated claims of vote fraud in his state earlier this week, the Trump campaign shared a 90-second video on Twitter alleging another Georgia related election conspiracy theory. “Video footage from Georgia shows suitcases filled with ballots pulled from und…
 
With the GOP’s Senate majority hanging by a thread, all eyes are on the Peach State and whether Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler can hold onto their seats in their January runoffs. But could all of these election conspiracy theories that are being circulated by conservative pundits and politicians ironically end up depressing turnou…
 
During an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr said that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” In what seems to be a clever attempt to appease the president, Barr also said during the interview that he had appointed John Durham as special coun…
 
Over Thanksgiving break, the Supreme Court struck down New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s strict coronavirus related occupancy limits to 10 or 25 worshipers in churches and synagogues located in orange and red zones in the state. In a 5-4 per curiam decision, the majority sided with Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel, who argued that C…
 
In Monday’s emergency episode of the podcast, David and Sarah bring us up to speed on the Trump legal team’s latest litigation drama, which has become nothing short of a clown show. One of the most puzzling aspects about all of this is the striking gap between the Trump campaign’s public rhetoric about widespread voter fraud during press conference…
 
Charles Koch and Brian Hooks joined Sarah and David to discuss their new book, Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World, which is about social entrepreneurship, the principles of human progress, and empowering people to discover their gifts. On today’s show, Koch and Hooks explain how finding common ground with people across the …
 
Rudy Giuliani has come out of retirement for the first time in 28 years to litigate on behalf of the Trump campaign. To say his gears were a little rusty would be the understatement of the century: Giuliani walked into court this week and couldn’t remember the name of the judge, couldn’t remember the name of his opposing counsel, couldn’t remember …
 
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were in the hot seat again on Tuesday, answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members about the policing of misinformation and controversial speech on their platforms. The biggest takeaway from the hearing? Both political parties want to regulate Big Tech, but for very different reas…
 
A segment of the right-wing public has morphed into a conspiracy theory machine that is—in David’s words—propagating baseless voter fraud allegations at “a geometric rate that [bears] increasingly no relationship to the real world at the same time as the actual claims in court are just evaporating.” Why are people on the right and the left so susce…
 
Is the Republican Party in the midst of a policy wasteland? Today’s guest, Ben Ginsberg, surely thinks so. According to Ginsberg, who is perhaps the most prominent Republican election lawyer of our time, the future of the GOP rests on its ability to transform its policy agenda into one that appeals to minorities and women. “If [the GOP] can avoid t…
 
The Trump campaign is swinging for the fences in most of its litigation efforts in hopes that at least some of its legal arguments will be successful. But as our podcast hosts remind us, most of the president’s post-election lawsuits are unlikely to change the outcome even if the Trump campaign scores a few victories along the way. “The Trump admin…
 
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper got the boot on Monday in a characteristic Twitter announcement from President Trump. Esper’s sudden dismissal was accompanied by a firing spree of numerous other Pentagon officials who were quickly replaced with Trump loyalists, raising a lot of questions and alarm bells in D.C.’s national security bubble. Sarah and…
 
Does a video show someone burning ballots with votes for Trump? No. Did Michigan ‘magically’ find 138,339 votes for Joe Biden? Nope. What about Wisconsin? Did voter turnout exceed the number of registered voters in the state? A thousand times no. But tight vote counts in battleground states have laid the perfect groundwork for election disinformati…
 
Twitter is brewing with wildly unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud as election officials in battleground states continue to count ballots. For today’s myth busters edition of the podcast, David and Sarah discuss the nitty gritty details surrounding ballot-counting processes and whether the conspiratorial claims surrounding voter fraud allegations…
 
Minutes before 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the president took to Twitter to claim victory in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. The president also said he “hereby [claims]” Michigan “if, in fact,... there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” The president and his closest allies are also alleging tha…
 
It’s Election Day eve and our podcast hosts have their presidential race forecasting models at the ready. After a helpful breakdown on pivot counties in swing states, David and Sarah give us some punditry on the 15 Senate races they’re watching closely this cycle. “Generally speaking, the Senate and presidential numbers are getting closer together …
 
What do Republican lawmakers want the Republican party to look like in a post-Trump era? “There’s a great fear of one scenario which is that Donald Trump loses in a race that is extremely tight,” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan tells Sarah and Steve on today’s show. “In that scenario, it would be much more difficult for elected Republicans to disown T…
 
We’ve already seen record early turnout this election cycle. Our hosts have three major takeaways from the surge: 1) It means the polls are more likely to be accurate (the registered voter number is likely to reflect the actual voter number), 2) It means that we’re going to see interesting shift in how both candidates’ spend time on the campaign tr…
 
The idea that Joe Biden will somehow heal America in a post-Trump era has become the closing argument of the Democratic candidate’s campaign. Will Biden’s “return to normalcy” pitch constrain his presidency? There’s a lot of ill will festering among congressional Democrats over coronavirus relief negotiations and the confirmation of Justice Amy Con…
 
Echelon Insights predicts that we will see record turnout this election cycle. How might a surge in, say, 2o million new voters this year affect the presidential race in battleground states? “If we’re talking the day after the election about why the polls were wrong,” Sarah warns on today’s episode, “it will be because of the extraordinary turnout,…
 
Is the presidential race where the polls say it is? What might pollsters be missing this election cycle? Is there a scenario in which Biden wins the electoral college handedly and Republicans somehow hold the Senate? Polls suggest that Republican senators’ reelection odds aren’t looking too sunny in Maine, Colorado, and Arizona. But what about Repu…
 
The story that the New York Post published last week about Hunter Biden raised all sorts of red flags for veteran journalists. How did they come into possession of the information in the first place? How did they authenticate the story before publishing it? All things considered, the available reporting process indicates that the New York Post’s st…
 
Still shocked by the grand polling meltdown of 2016, many Americans on both sides of the aisle are convinced that Biden’s double digit national polling lead is inaccurate and that Trump will somehow win the election in a landslide. This theory has three main hypotheses: 1) Trump is such a uniquely divisive candidate that his supporters lie to polls…
 
How do journalists and tech platforms determine what information is verifiable online? How can news consumers determine which media outlets to trust when the line between partisan bias and disinformation becomes hazier and hazier? On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by Renée DiResta—a technical research manager at the Stanford Internet O…
 
It’s October 15, 2020, and 12.4 percent of the votes that were cast in the 2016 election have already been cast this election cycle. Sarah and David try to discern through the tea leaves what this means for voter turnout this year. “There’s two different schools of thought here,” Sarah says. “One is that we’re on pace to have record turnout and one…
 
How is Amy Coney Barrett holding up in her Senate confirmation hearings? Well, her record is squeaky clean, she’s held fast to the Ginsburg rule, and she’s remained calm and collected despite the Democrats’ best efforts to break her composure. Another benefit from this hearing, as Sarah points out, is that “the media has finally come around to unde…
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off its confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett today with a predictably partisan spin. There were dog whistles from Republicans about religious tests and procedural complaints from Democrats in defense of the Affordable Care Act and against advancing Barrett’s nomination before Novemb…
 
Donald Trump is trailing in the polls by roughly 4.2 points in Arizona, a state Republican presidential candidates have won consistently in recent decades (with the exception of Bob Dole in 1996). Our podcast hosts are joined today by New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin, who explains the demographic changes that have resulted in such a quick po…
 
Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off Wednesday evening for their first and only vice presidential debate. But analysis of the candidates’ performance was disrupted by Trump’s announcement Thursday morning that he will not participate in the October 15 virtual debate against Joe Biden. Is the president bluffing? Or is he simply…
 
Do this week’s national presidential polling averages doom Donald Trump’s chance at winning the election? Joe Biden has maintained a steady national polling lead of 6 to 9 points for months now, with no signs of letting up as we approach November 3. The latest CNN, NBC, and Rasmussen polls from this week show Biden in a 16-, 14-, and 12-point lead,…
 
Supreme Court oral arguments have resumed via telephone and our podcast hosts are nerding out. The court kicked off today with an interesting denial of cert from the Supreme Court on a case out of Kentucky involving Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to certify marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015 for religious reasons. “This petition…
 
Donald Trump shocked the world when he announced overnight via Twitter that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus, a startling development in an already news-saturated week for the president. Who better to discuss these momentous developments than Dr. Jonathan Reiner—a cardiologist, professor of medicine and surgery at George Wa…
 
How will Amy Coney Barrett shake things up on the bench if she is confirmed by the Senate before November 3? “Amy Coney Barrett will not be as revolutionary as the left fears or the right wishes,” Sarah argues, “Because no justice really is, because it’s one vote.” On today’s episode, David and Sarah address the hysteria surrounding her upcoming Se…
 
Last night was the first presidential debate and it was … not a great moment for the country, to say the least. As Sarah reminds us, presidential candidates go into debates with a strategy, basing their metric of success on their ability to boost turnout among an already existing base. Did either candidate achieve what they wanted to achieve? Are u…
 
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