We’ve reached the end of the term after a blockbuster month and an incredibly full week of orders and opinions. Your hosts wish farewell to Justice Breyer who is now officially retired and welcome Justice Ketanji Jackson. This week the Court decided all of its remaining cases including West Virginia v. EPA, a challenge to a power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency, Biden v. Texas, a challenge to Biden’s attempt to cancel the Remain-in-Mexico policy, and Kennedy v. Bremerton School district, which involved a school coach who was fired for praying privately after games. Your hosts discuss these and more. Of course, no term could conclude without GianCarlo trying to stump Zack with trivia, and this week it’s all about interesting statistics about this term.

 

The Court continued to release opinions at a frenzied pace this week. While GianCarlo enjoys some well-deserved R&R, the Meese Center’s Director, John Malcolm, joins Zack to break down everything that’s happening at the Court, including the release of an important religious liberty/school choice case, an important second amendment case, and, of course, Dobbs. Zack then interviews Ohio Solicitor General Ben Flowers. Last up, Zack puts John in the hot seat to try his hand at some Supreme Court-themed vacation trivia.

 

The floodgates opened this week, and the Court gave us eleven opinions. Given time constraints, your hosts discuss a few of the most interesting ones, including two Indian Law cases and a big Chevron deference case that did not mention Chevron. GianCarlo then interviews District Judge Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma. Last up, GianCarlo tries to stump Zack with trivia about the Supreme Court’s end-of-term opinion bonanza.

 

This week a man angry about the leaked Dobbs opinion showed up to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home with a gun, a knife, burglary tools, and the intent to kill the Justice. Despite this, to the Justices’ credit, they are working just as hard as ever resolving orders and issuing four opinions. You hosts discuss the assassination attempt, talk about noteworthy orders, and unpack those opinions. Zack also interviews Supreme Court advocate Morgan Ratner, who clerked for both Kavanaugh and the Chief Justice. Finally, curious about whether other Justices have been similarly targeted, your hosts look at the history of attacks against them.

 

Despite some rumors that we might get the Dobbs opinion this week, we did not. We did, however, get opinions in an immigration case and in Senator Ted Cruz’s challenge to an election rule that limited a candidate’s ability to recover money loaned to his own campaign. Zack and GianCarlo unpack those cases in addition to the new cases that the Court took up this week. Zack then interviews Georgia Supreme Court Justice Nels Peterson. After that, GianCarlo grills Zack with trivia about sitting members of Congress who have served as Supreme Court clerks. Tune in to learn which Justice plays matchmaker on the side.

 

This week saw the biggest leak in Supreme Court history: a leaked opinion. And not just any opinion, but an early draft of a purported majority decision in the Dobbs case, which would, if issued, overrule Roe v. Wade and return abortion policy to the people of each state. Zack and GianCarlo chat about the leak, what it means for the Court, and what ought to happen to the leaker. They also discuss all the other news that was drowned out by the leak including the memorial service for Justice John Paul Stevens and a major First Amendment opinion issued this week. GianCarlo then interviews Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, and they talk about her career and her legal strategy in Dobbs. Finally, Zack quizzes GianCarlo about Justice Stevens’ life and career.

 

This was the final week of oral arguments of the term and also the final oral arguments for Justice Breyer. Your hosts discuss a kind tribute that the Chief Justice gave to his retiring colleague, new cert grants, and some of this week’s high-profile arguments. They also discuss the two decisions of the week and what happens when the court splits 4-4 on a case. GianCarlo then interviews Supreme Court advocate Sarah Harris, and the two talk about her interesting path to the law, which includes years spent studying a clandestine CIA program. Sarah also shares wonderful stories from her clerkships for Judge Sandra Lynch, Judge Laurence Silberman, and Justice Thomas. Finally, with a bunch of railroad cases on the Court’s docket, GianCarlo tries to stump Zack with trivia about the Court’s most famous (and infamous) train cases.

 

We are entering the final stretch of the term, and from here on out, opinions are likely to come fast. This week sets the pace with six opinions on free speech, tax, habeas corpus, and other issues. Your hosts explain them all and give a preview of next week’s high profile oral arguments. Zack then interviews Kelly Shackelford, the President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, and the two talk about the current and future state of religious liberty at the Supreme Court. Zack then tries to stump GianCarlo with trivia about justices born in April.

 

While Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process wends through the Senate, the Court is keeping up a fast pace of orders, arguments, and opinions. Your hosts discuss those, including one particularly exciting new case that GianCarlo has dubbed “The Bacon Case.” Your hosts then jointly interview Ilya Shapiro to review Judge Jackson’s hearings. With bacon on the mind, GianCarlo tries to fry Zack with some breakfast-at-SCOTUS trivia. You can find Ilya’s excellent book about judicial confirmations here, and GianCarlo’s previous interview with him about it here.

 

The confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson filled the airwaves this week, but there were plenty of other Supreme Court goings on. Zack and GianCarlo give an overview of the hearings and then discuss this week’s opinions. The Court decided cases involving racial gerrymandering, free speech, and a fascinating issue of religious liberty and the death penalty. Zack then interviews Supreme Court litigator and former acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall. Lastly, GianCarlo quizzes Zack with trivia about the two (and, perhaps, soon to be three) Justices Jackson.

 

In this special episode, your hosts moderate a three-way discussion all about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination. But first, we have some news about the lawsuit challenging the Texas heartbeat law and one opinion in a criminal-law case that sounds more like a law school exam than a real fact pattern. After discussing those developments, your hosts welcome Carrie Severino of The Judicial Crisis Network, Ed Whelan of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, and John Malcolm of The Heritage Foundation to discuss Judge Jackson’s judicial philosophy (or lack thereof), how Republican Senators should approach her confirmation hearing, whether she’d have to recuse from the Harvard racial preferences case, and much more.

 

The show and the Court are back from their mid-winter hiatus, and we have a lot to catch up on! There is, of course, Justice Breyer’s retirement and President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace him, in addition to all of the usual goings-on of our favorite branch of government. We have orders galore and five opinions on topics including the Boston Marathon Bomber’s death sentence, FBI secrets, and a possible CIA black site in Poland. Your hosts discuss all of that, and then Zack interviews veteran litigator and former head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven Engel. At the end of the show, Zack quizzes GianCarlo with trivia about Judge Jackson. Stay tuned for a special episode all about the nominee in the coming weeks!

 

This episode has a little bit of everything: orders, arguments, opinions, and SCOTUS gossip. Zack and GianCarlo discuss this week’s noteworthy orders, including the Court’s decision not to block the release of certain documents over which former president Trump claimed executive privilege. They also look at this week’s oral arguments, GianCarlo explains this week’s one opinion, and Zack interviews Sixth Circuit Judge John Nalbandian. On the gossip front, your hosts explain how NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg landed in hot water by reporting some anonymously sourced Supreme Court gossip that three justices said was false. With leaks (false or otherwise) on the docket, Zack grilled GianCarlo with trivia from other famous inside scoops about the Court.

 

The Court is back from its Winter recess, and so are your hosts. The Court heard arguments in six cases including the challenges to the OSHA and HHS vaccination mandates, and it issued opinions in those cases less than a week later. GianCarlo and Zack explain those opinions and give you the highlights from the Court’s other arguments and orders this week. GianCarlo then interviews District Judge Sarah Pitlyk, and quizzes Zack with trivia about constitutional conundrums.

 

Last week your hosts said that you wouldn’t hear from them until the new year, but the Supreme Court had different plans. The Justices handed down their decision in the Texas Heartbeat Bill case, declined to take up a Free Exercise challenge to New York’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and granted several new cases. Zack and GianCarlo unpack those decisions, and then GianCarlo interviews D.C. District Judge Trevor McFadden. Tune in to hear about his fascinating career in law enforcement from police officer, to prosecutor, to DOJ lawyer, to judge. Lastly, Zack quizzes GianCarlo with trivia about the earliest SCOTUS confirmations.

 

In the last week before the Court’s Christmas break, it heard oral arguments in several interesting cases concerning immigration courts, the fiduciary duties owed by retirement plans administrators, habeas corpus proceedings, and the big school choice case, Carson v. Makin. Your hosts discuss all of those cases, and Zack offers his predictions for Carson. Zack also interviews preeminent Supreme Court litigator Charles “Chuck” Cooper about his storied career. Finally, GianCarlo tests Zack’s knowledge of the Supreme Court’s use of scholarly articles in opinions.

 

Abortion is on the docket this week as the Court hears oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which asks the Court to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Dobbs filled this week’s headlines, but the Court heard several other important cases too. Your hosts discuss them all, saving the oral arguments in Dobbs for after GianCarlo’s interview of renowned legal theorist and political philosopher Robert P. George. Professor George explains the history of the Court’s abortion jurisprudence, its relation to our American legal and philosophical tradition, and the implications of Dobbs. He also gives his prediction of how the case will turn out and what overruling Roe and Casey would mean for the future of the pro-life movement. After that, GianCarlo summarizes the Dobbs oral arguments, and Zack peppers him with trivia about the Court’s abortion cases.

 

This week at oral arguments, the Court heard cases about the scope of the state secrets privilege, whether a death-row inmate may have his spiritual advisor present at his execution, and the extent to which local governments can regulate billboards. Your hosts explain those cases, and then GianCarlo interviews Fourth Circuit Judge Allison Jones Rushing. Judge Rushing talks about singing in restaurants with Judge Sentelle, singing in the Supreme Court with Justice Scalia, fly fishing with Justice Gorsuch, becoming part of Justice Thomas’s clerk family, and more. Last up, GianCarlo quizzes Zack with trivia about music at the Court.

It was a big week for oral arguments with two about the Texas’ abortion law, SB 8, and another about New York’s firearm restrictions. GianCarlo explains the issues in the SB 8 cases and answers the pressing question of what, if anything, do they have to do with Dobbs. Zack unpacks the oral arguments in the Second Amendment case and covers other newsworthy items, like the confirmation of our new Solicitor General, Elizabeth Prelogar. Chief Judge Bill Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit joins us again to discuss his recent speech, “Politics and the Rule of Law.” Last up, in honor of S.G. Prelogar’s confirmation, Zack grills GianCarlo with Solicitor General trivia.

 

There were no oral arguments this week, but there were a few noteworthy orders and a great milestone: Justice Clarence Thomas’s 30th year on the bench! Zack discusses the orders, which include an expedited briefing and oral argument schedule in two challenges to the Texas abortion law. Your hosts also discuss the recent symposium hosted by The Heritage Foundation and The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State celebrating Justice Thomas’s life, legacy, and jurisprudence. You can find recordings of that event here. GianCarlo also interviews Fifth Circuit Judge Andrew Oldham, who talks about his unexpected journey to a career in the law, his studies at Cambridge, and his clerkships for two legendary judges. Lastly, GianCarlo quizzes Zack with Justice Thomas themed trivia!