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Election Challenges, Dangerous Speech, & Carrying the Nuclear Football

Legal Talk Network hosts put the day’s news into context with the most recent episodes covering promised election challenges, inflammatory speech, and the Cold War-era process for nuclear launch codes.

Snowfall at the White House photo by the White House is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Wait, is there an election this week?

On Legal Talk Today, Ohio State Law Prof. Edward Foley details a time-honored American tradition: the election challenge. Foley, author of “Presidential Elections and Majority Rule” and “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States,” walks listeners through the history of contested elections and possibilities stemming from Election 2020.

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, University of Kentucky Law Professor and author of “Vote for US: How to Take Back our Elections and Change the Future of Voting” dives deeper into issues surrounding the elections, from voter suppression, mail-in ballot disputes, and what role the Supreme Court has played and may yet play.

When does speech become a call for violence?

The irreverent Popehat Ken White on Make No Law: The First Amendment Podcast is donning his “incitingelectionviolencehat” for an episode featuring a discussion of the First Amendment and how it manages inflammatory speech. White takes listeners back in time to the “clear and present danger” standard to the more recent case of a white supremacist convicted for uttering inflammatory speech at a Klan rally.

White and his guests — UConn School of Law Prof. Richard Wilson and Washington University Sociology Prof. David Cunningham — discuss whether the current “imminent lawless standard” holds up in today’s social media era.

Had your fill of election news? How about football?

The nuclear football? In a two-part Legal Talk Today interview, NUKEMAP creator Alex Wellerstein details the evolution of the U.S. president as the final authority on whether to launch nuclear weapons. From an informal assertion to formalized doctrine, nuclear authority has a rich history. Will legislative attempts to add more officials to the decisionmaking process succeed?

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To keep up with timely insights on the law, legal innovation, and law practice, visit Legal Talk Network. Or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Molly McDonough, a longtime legal affairs journalist, is a producer for the current events show "Legal Talk Today." She also is a media and content strategist with McDonough Media LLC. McDonough previously served as editor and publisher of the ABA’s flagship magazine, the "ABA Journal." She writes about access to justice at "A Just Society."