With Labor Day come and gone, the faculty lounge reopens for the autumn session. On this episode: Professors Epstein and Yoo debate whether the Fourteenth Amendment mandates birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens; Discuss whether Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis can cite conscience protections to keep from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples; explain what Congress can do to stop the seemingly inevitable Iran deal; and deliver legal analysis on the finer points of Deflategate.

Also, the boys make their Super Bowl picks, Richard defends an unlikely Supreme Court case, and John reveals a secret from Ann Coulter’s days as a Capitol Hill staffer.yoohoochampions

Milk it, EJHill

It’s the law: subscribe to this podcast either on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors!


We’re thrilled to welcome a new sponsor to Law Talk – The Great Courses! For a limited time The Great Courses has a Special offer for Law Talk listeners: Order from 8 of their bestselling courses –including The Great Masters – at Up to 80% off the original price! But, this offer is only available for a limited time, so hurry! Go to thegreatcourses.com/ricochet.



Casper-Red-Antler-eyes-mark-011-960x589Get premium mattresses for a fraction of the price delivered to your door! Casper is revolutionizing the mattress industry by cutting the cost of dealing with resellers and showrooms and passing that savings directly to the consumer. Get $50 off your first purchase! Go to Casper.com/LawTalk and use the coupon code LawTalk at checkout.



Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 8.56.20 AMThis podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shave. For the finest shave at the best price, go to Harrys.com and use the coupon code LAWTALK at checkout

Subscribe to Law Talk With Epstein, Yoo & Senik in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

Now become a Ricochet member for only $5.00 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 8 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. BThompson Inactive

    Troy, Indy and Seattle are both in the AFC. They cannot meet in the Super Bowl.

    • #1
  2. RPD Member

    Seattle moved to the NFC during realignment some years ago. They’re now in the NFC West with San Francisco, Arizona and St Louis.

    • #2
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards

    Senik and Epstein are good, but that poster is lifting them up to the status of Yogi and the Mick. Sacrilege.

    • #3
  4. GLDIII Reagan

    I always wonder what part of these podcasts that will tickle EJ Hill’s visual fancy.

    Good Show EJ

    • #4
  5. BThompson Inactive

    RPD:Seattle moved to the NFC during realignment some years ago. They’re now in the NFC West with San Francisco, Arizona and St Louis.

    You are right! Silly me. Excellent prediction, Troy, I should know better than to second guess your panologic inights.

    • #5
  6. Mister Magic Inactive
    Mister Magic

    And the Eagles went to the Super Bowl for the 2004 season. Surely a phanatic like Professor Yoo should be able to remember that, I would hope.

    Much as I tease, I am with him on going all in on the Eagles. This is our year.

    • #6
  7. Paul DeRocco Member
    Paul DeRocco

    John makes much, both here and in the flagship podcast, of the idea that there are three groups excluded from birthright citizenship by the “subject to the jurisdiction” clause in the 14th Amendment: the children of diplomats, the children of Indians, and the children of invading armies.

    The idea that diplomats are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the laws of the country they’re assigned to is I believe universal practice. Even if a diplomat commits murder, the only recourse is expulsion.

    The idea that Indians are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States was also conventional, and indeed Article I originally excluded “Indians not taxed” from the population counts determining taxation and representation. (That also implies that there was a category of “Indians taxed” whose children might not have been excluded from birthright citizenship.)

    But where does the exclusion of the children of invading armies come from? Are we meant to believe that invading armies aren’t subject to our laws? If we catch an enemy soldier, do we have to let him go, as we would a diplomat? Indeed, we claim a right not only to arrest an enemy soldier but to kill him in combat.

    Furthermore, it’s doubtful that this issue would have occurred to anyone at the time, since until very recently in human history, invading soldiers didn’t give birth to children because they were all male.

    This isn’t to say that it was wrong to exclude theoretical children born to female enemy soldiers within our borders, only that that exclusion is based more on common sense than on any text in the Constitution. But then why would common sense not also justify excluding the children of illegal aliens on the same grounds? They are here against our will and in violation of our laws. They spend their time here trying to evade detection and deportation. They may not be here to conquer us, yet the rhetoric of some illegal alien activist groups suggest that some of them do see that as their goal. Even those who aren’t angrily denouncing us are still taking from us certain things to which they are not entitled.

    Extending the exclusion to the children of illegal aliens, then, would not be a wildly activist decision, just an extension of the logic of excluding the children of enemy soldiers. It would be a reasonable response to the fact that in the modern world, where all countries routinely defend their borders and control immigration, our unique phenomenon of the “anchor baby” has created an enormous and problematic incentive for people to break into our country while pregnant. The Constitution obviously doesn’t deny such children citizenship, but it doesn’t obviously guarantee it, either. It should be left up to Congress.

    • #7
  8. Dietlbomb Inactive

    Given that the phrase “subject to the the jurisdiction” is ambiguous with regard to immigration, wouldn’t it be within Congress’s power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” to define the term with regards to various classes of foreigners for the purpose of naturalization?

    • #8
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.