It’s full steam ahead as the Court finishes up its second-to-last week of oral arguments for the term. Among the six cases argued this week, were two blockbuster First Amendment cases, one that may decide the meaning of “freedom of association,” and another that may decide whether schools can punish students for speech made outside of school. Your hosts discuss those arguments and more. GianCarlo explains the one opinion of the week, which is all about the meaning of the word “a,” and explains how it’s round two in the ongoing debate between Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh about the right way to do textualism. GianCarlo also interviews veteran advocate and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. Last up, Zack tries to stump GianCarlo with more strategic retirement trivia.


It was a very busy week at the Court with six oral arguments, three opinions, and a couple of noteworthy orders. GianCarlo discusses the Court’s order striking down a California COVID-19 restriction that discriminated against religious practice and a patent case with facts fit for an episode of Suits. Zack, meanwhile, discusses a case raising that all-important issue of whether and how the lawyers will get paid. Together your hosts explain this week’s opinions, which involve life without parole for juvenile murderers, Social Security administrative law judges, and the scope of the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement powers. Zack interviews Judge Robert Luck of the Eleventh Circuit, and GianCarlo grills Zack with trivia about strategically timed SCOTUS retirements.


This week the Court issued a high-profile and very technical opinion in the copyright dispute between Google and Oracle. Your hosts break down the complicated issues in that case and cover other interesting orders from this week including an opinion by Justice Thomas about free speech and Big Tech that sparked a national conversation. Later on, Amy Swearer joins us again! This time, however, she’s in the hot seat as a guest and subject-matter expert to discuss the Supreme Court and the Second Amendment. Lastly, Zack quizzes GianCarlo with some trivia about the Justices’ pre-SCOTUS jobs.


It was a busy week for the court with a number of high-profile orders, three oral arguments, and three unanimous opinions. In orders this week, the Justices announced that they will take up an abortion case but only to resolve a procedural issue, and they also delivered a very predictable rebuke to the Sixth Circuit in a habeas case. Zack and GianCarlo discuss oral arguments with a special focus on the antitrust case that will decide whether the NCAA’s student-athlete compensation rules are lawful. The hosts also discuss the three opinions issued, which involve spam text messages, media conglomerates, and a water-rights fight between Florida and Georgia. GianCarlo interviews Judge Ada E. Brown of the Northern District of Texas and quizzes Zack with trivia about the Justices’ extracurricular activities.


This week the Court takes us back to our first year of law school with cases destined for the casebooks. Oral arguments this week involved a takings case that touches on first-year property and the “bundle of rights,” a Fourth Amendment case involving the “care-taking exception” to the warrant requirement, and a really unique case about tribal police. We also got two blockbuster opinions this week involving personal jurisdiction and the definition of a “seizure” for the Fourth Amendment. Your hosts unpack all of that, and more. GianCarlo also interviews John Wood, a veteran litigator, Justice Thomas clerk, and current Chief Legal Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Last up, Zack grills GianCarlo with Fourth Amendment trivia. If he does well, all credit goes to Judge Pamela Harris who taught him criminal procedure.


This week, news that all of the Justices have received COVID-19 vaccines sparked a debate among advocates and law professors about remote vs in-person arguments. Zack fairly discusses both sides, while GianCarlo stakes out an aggressive position early on. GianCarlo also unpacks the one opinion this week, which answers the question: If the government violates your civil rights and you only ask for nominal damages, can you sue? The hosts jointly interview their new colleague, Sarah Parshall Perry, about the ripple effects of the Bostock decision. Lastly, the hosts play trivia and the theme is “Where in the world is Justice Carmen Sandiego?”

You can read two of Sarah’s recent pieces on the topics of our interview here and here.

This week the Court heard oral arguments in a voting rights case where Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich was both the petitioner and advocate. Zack unpacks that oral argument, and GianCarlo discusses the oral arguments in two other cases that involve challenges to patent and Social Security administrative law judges. This week also saw Justice Barrett issue her first majority opinion! GianCarlo interviews Eleventh Circuit Judge Britt Grant, and Zack quizzes GianCarlo with trivia about the justices’ educational backgrounds.

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The Court is back from its working recess and so are Zack and GianCarlo. Zack kicks off the show discussing the Court’s denial of two 2020 election lawsuits out of Pennsylvania. GianCarlo and Zack then discuss the three oral arguments of the week, and GianCarlo unpacks this week’s one opinion, which involves the Federal Tort Claims Act’s judgment bar. GianCarlo then interviews Ninth Circuit Judge Patrick Bumatay. Last up, Zack proves he’s got a mind for comedy as GianCarlo quizzes him about the funniest fun-facts about SCOTUS.


For the first time in years, the Supreme Court issued surprise opinions during its February working recess. It issued an opinion in the Nazi art case and another in a case about railroads and retirement plans. Zack and GianCarlo discuss those as well as the newest case on the court’s docket, which will decide whether a corporation can use the federal government’s eminent domain power against a state government. Your hosts are joined this week by Judge Brantley Starr who discusses his journey to the bench and the influence his famous uncle had on his decision to become a lawyer. Lastly, Zack lobs some snowy-weather themed trivia at GianCarlo.


Going into its three week “working recess,” the Court was relatively quiet, issuing a few orders and one DIG. What’s a DIG? GianCarlo explains that, while Zack explains Munsingwear vacatur. GianCarlo then interviews Ninth Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke who shares his unusual path to law school and reveals why GianCarlo has dubbed him the modern-day Serranus Hastings. Finally, Zack holds his own in trivia about SCOTUS nicknames!


It was a quiet week at the court with no new grants or opinions, but we did have two interesting oral arguments. Zack and GianCarlo discuss those cases, and then GianCarlo interviews Fifth Circuit judge Jennifer Walker Elrod. She tells us about her career, her musical talent, and her continuing devotion to her undergraduate alma mater. Lastly, Zack throws some inauguration-themed trivia GianCarlo’s way.


We’re back from the holiday break and so is SCOTUS! This week we discuss orders that the Court issued in a capital-punishment case and an abortion case. Zack and GianCarlo also discuss this week’s oral arguments, which among other cases, involve a unique First Amendment issue with far-reaching implications. GianCarlo interviews Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who explains the link between Robert Bork, Thomas Sowell, and Top Gun’s Maverick. Lastly, GianCarlo tries to trick Zack with trivia about where many Supreme Court justices came from.


In this special holiday episode, Zack and GianCarlo prepare for the Court’s Winter break with a review of the term so far and a preview of what’s to come. Of course, no episode of SCOTUS 101 would be complete without trivia, so GianCarlo tests Zack’s knowledge of the history of the Court’s annual Christmas party.


This week we have our first opinions in cases argued this term. Zack joins GianCarlo in discussing those cases and this week’s oral arguments, which include two cases about art stolen by Nazis. Zack also updates us about the major election cases pending before the Court. GianCarlo interviews returning guests, Judge Jeffrey Sutton and Ed Whelan on their new book: The Essential Scalia: On the Constitution, the Courts, and the Rule of Law. Lastly, Zack quizzes GianCarlo with art-related trivia.


This week Zack Smith is back, and he joins GianCarlo to discuss this week’s oral arguments, which cover some touchy technology issues and whether the president can discount illegal aliens when it comes to determining the relevant population for each state’s allotment of seats in the House of Representatives. GianCarlo also discusses the Court’s midnight Thanksgiving order granting houses of worship a win against discriminatory COVID-19 restrictions. He also interviews Judge Raymond Kethledge who tells us about his career and shares his passion for writing. Last up, Zack is in the hot seat for technology-themed trivia!


This week the Court gave advocates a Thanksgiving break from oral arguments, but our favorite black-clad gang of nine gave us a few new cases. With Amy out this week, our colleague Zack Smith fills in to discuss those cases. GianCarlo interviews Professor Josh Blackman to discuss the status of religious-liberty challenges to COVID-19 restrictions, the confusion caused in the lower courts by the Chief’s opinion in South Bay United Pentecostal Church, and what the Court is likely to do with the two new religious-liberty challenges now pending. Lastly, Zack tries to stump GianCarlo with Thanksgiving themed SCOTUS trivia.


This week the Court was pretty quiet, so your hosts cover some of the most exciting cases that are waiting to be chosen by the Court. Amy also discusses the one case that made the cut this week, which involves an unusual government takings issue, and she also interviews John Wood, general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. GianCarlo tries his best to trip up Amy with trivia related to the Supreme Court building.


In this week’s episode, your hosts are back in the studio to cover new cases, emergency election orders, and some of the term’s biggest oral arguments. GianCarlo discusses the arguments in Brownback, and Amy walks us through the oral arguments in Texas v. California the most recent challenge to the Affordable Care Act. GianCarlo also interviews Professor John Yoo about his latest book: Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power. Lastly, Amy tries to stump GianCarlo with Veterans Day trivia, but he turns the table on her with some trivia of his own!


This week the news may be focused on the election, but the Supreme Court is carrying on with business as usual. Your hosts discuss oral arguments, focusing on Fulton v. Philadelphia, the Catholic adoption services case, and Jones v. Mississippi, the Eighth Amendment challenge to life sentences without parole for minors. Amy interviews Laura Wolk who is the first blind Supreme Court clerk, and GianCarlo pulls out all the stops with election-law trivia. Will Amy leave any hanging chads? Join us and find out!


This week Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court as its 115th justice! Your hosts respond to some listener questions and explain why justices take two oaths, who administers them, and when and where those traditions were formed. Following up on her tribute to Justice Ginsburg from a previous episode, Amy explores what it means for a conservative woman to have a conservative role model on the court. The hosts replay an interview that Elizabeth Slattery conducted of then Judge Barrett, and lastly Amy tries to stump GianCarlo with trivia about swearing-in ceremonies.