Lawyers, Guns, and Russians

It may be Presidents Day (it’s not, actually — more on that later), but the faculty lounge is still open for business. In this months’ session, Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo are tackling the latest revelations from the Mueller investigation, what can be done about gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment, and whether restrictions on free speech have gone too far on college campuses.

Plus they’re weighing on the most overrated and underrated presidents (in pursuit of the elusive ‘Franklin Pierce fanboy’ demo), unnecessarily quoting Latin (guess who), and, yes, giving Professor Yoo, Philadelphia Eagles devotee, his moment in the sun.

Subscribe to Law Talk With Epstein, Yoo & Senik in iTunes (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 iTunes or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsors!

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

There are 8 comments.

  1. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    Great podcast! I was particularly interested in John’s comments on James Madison. I have been reading Ron Chernow’s bio of Hamilton. I have always had a low opinion of Jefferson, but until reading this book I did not realize how deeply Jefferson’s influence destroyed Madison’s intellectual growth. At the time of the Federalist Papers Madison was on course to become a major intellectual power. Then under Jefferson’s tutelege he seems to shrink into a mini-me-Jefferson, a tool for Jefferson’s boundless ambition.

    • #1
    • February 19, 2018, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    Great podcast! I was particularly interested in John’s comments on James Madison. I have been reading Ron Chernow’s bio of Hamilton. I have always had a low opinion of Jefferson, but until reading this book I did not realize how deeply Jefferson’s influence destroyed Madison’s intellectual growth. At the time of the Federalist Papers Madison was on course to become a major intellectual power. Then under Jefferson’s tutelege he seems to shrink into a mini-me-Jefferson, a tool for Jefferson’s boundless ambition.

    pretty much this

    My only addition is I find John Yoo’s loyalty to the McRib and buying sports gear endearing.

    • #2
    • February 20, 2018, at 6:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Mrs. Ink Member

    Thank you so much for this podcast. I made the mistake of reading David Brooks’ most recent opinion piece which purported to call for dialogue and respect, but was really a thinly disguised slam at gun rights supporters, and the further mistake of reading several hundred of the hate-filled comments. I barely slept last night because I was so disheartened.

    I applaud Professor Epstein’s well-reasoned call for the Israeli solution to school shootings, and both professors’ spirited defense of Amy Waxman. It was a pleasure to hear intelligent, reasoned arguments on the Second Amendment.

    My favorite section of the podcast was the discussion of over rated and under rated presidents. I have always thought the Woodrow Wilson was the absolute nadir, and it was encouraging to hear that I am not alone in this belief.

    • #3
    • February 20, 2018, at 9:32 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Mikescapes Member

    Not so fast on the distinction between undergrads and law students. My law school, U.Va, reported the Charlottesville riot in a most biased way. There were no two sides to the story. It was all the good resistance team against the evil white racists. As if Antifa, BLK and assorted lefties were not present at the demonstration. Law students wrote a one-sided review of the facts, backed up by the school officials. The preservation of statues and symbols was mentioned, but all the violence was solely attributed to the preservers (conveniently described as KKK).

    You recall Trump being excoriated when he referred to violence on both sides. He was right, but as always politically sloppy. I wrote an email to U. Va Law pointing out how disappointed I was that the facts were loaded in favor of the politically favored, politically correct group. So here’s another example of advocacy minus objectivity. That wasn’t the case back in the day. I think maybe you guys underestimate the spread of liberal bias in our Law Schools these days.

    • #4
    • February 20, 2018, at 12:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. RufusRJones Member

    Frankfurt School. Critical Theory. Cultural Marxism. etc. etc. etc. It’s real.

    • #5
    • February 20, 2018, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Troy Senik Contributor

    We were up against a hard out, so I didn’t get to chime in on the presidential discussion, but as Ricochet’s resident presidential arcana nerd, wanted to throw in my two cents:

    — I basically agree with everything the professors said, though I think Richard is right that John’s selection of Eisenhower as underrated overlooks the fact that Ike’s reputation has been on the rise for some time now. I’d also probably go a tad easier on Jefferson than John (although there is plenty to criticize), if only because the Louisiana Purchase (where you can fairly ding TJ for abandoning his constitutional principles) was so decisive in shaping the ultimate course of the country.

    — Like Richard — and for virtually identical reasons — Wilson would have been at the top of my overrated list.

    — Another president who’s not so much “overrated” as “insufficiently criticized” is Rutherford B. Hayes. The deal that handed Hayes the 1876 presidential election also ended the federal military presence in the Reconstruction-era South, thus leaving us with a cold civil war that wouldn’t be resolved until the 1960s. Hayes defenders will argue that outcome was overdetermined — that there were plenty of factors militating towards Reconstruction’s premature end. That is likely true to some degree, but I don’t think it’s exculpatory for Hayes.

    — My underrated list would include Ulysses S. Grant (who’s now garnering some much-deserved rehabilitation thanks to the Ron Chernow book), Grover Cleveland (a kind of proto-Calvin Coolidge), and James K. Polk, whose presidency should be considered a model: he set four goals for himself, accomplished each one of them, left after one term, and then proceeded to do the patriotic thing and drop dead shortly after leaving office.

    • #6
    • February 20, 2018, at 7:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. kylez Member

    Ugh, the worst XTC song. Not just because of its message, but its annoying presentation.

    • #7
    • February 22, 2018, at 11:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Blue Yeti Admin

    kylez (View Comment):
    Ugh, the worst XTC song. Not just because of its message, but its annoying presentation.

    Epstein picked it.

    • #8
    • February 22, 2018, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like