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Episode Notes

From LGBTQ rights, to abortion, to the Dreamers, to Trump’s taxes, major rulings coming out of the Supreme Court in 2020, have been anything but ordinary. Through these decisions, we have witnessed the unpredictability of some of the justices-in particular, newly appointed justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who notably sided with the four liberal justices in a number of rulings.

On today’s Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Craig Williams is joined by Jeffrey Rosen to discuss SCOTUS, some of its more notable recent decisions, the justices, and the impacts of these rulings.

Jeffrey Rosen is president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and also host of the We the People podcast. Special thanks to Jackie McDermott, producer of We the People, for her assistance in recording Jeffrey’s audio for this episode.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Blue J Legal and LEX Reception.

Mentioned in This Episode

We the People podcast

Interactive Constitution 

CLE

Conversations with RBG: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law

Transcript

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Standout SCOTUS Rulings, the Justices, and Impact

07/24/2020

[Music]

Jeffrey Rosen: It’s such a partisan time and the justices are so acutely aware of the attacks on the legitimacy of the presidency, congress and the courts. It’s clear that this is the term that Chief Justice Roberts not only himself insisted on upholding the institutional legitimacy of the court but got buy-in from his new colleagues, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as well as from the other justices.

[Music]

Intro: Welcome to the award-winning podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer with J. Craig Williams bringing you the latest legal news and observations with the leading experts in the legal profession. You’re listening to Legal Talk Network.

[Music]

J. Craig Williams: Welcome to Lawyer 2 Lawyer on the Legal Talk Network.  I’m Craig Williams coming to you from Southern California.

I write a legal blog named May It Please the Court and have two books out titled ‘The Sled’ and ‘How to Get Sued’.

Before we introduce today’s topic we’d like to take this time to thank our sponsors LEX Reception and Blue J Legal.

LEX Reception is a close-knit team of virtual receptionists dedicated to professionalism, warmth and 24/7 availability for law firms and attorneys.

Blue J Legal’s AI-Powered Foresight platforms accurately predict court outcomes and accelerate case research by using factors instead of keywords. You can learn more at bluejlegal.com. That’s bluejlegal.com.

From LGBTQ rights, to abortion, to the DREAMers, to Trump’s taxes, there have been major rulings coming out of the Supreme Court in 2020 and they’ve been anything but ordinary. Through these decisions we have witnessed unpredictability of some of the justices. In particular, newly appointed Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts who’s been notably siding with the four liberal justices in a number of rulings.

So today on Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we’re going to be discussing kudos, some of its more notable recent decisions, the justices and the impacts of these rulings. To do that, we’ve got a great show for you today. Our guest is Jeffrey Rosen. He is president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and also a host of the We the People podcast.

In addition, Jeffrey is a professor at the George Washington University Law School, contributing editor to the Atlantic and the author of the six books including most recently conversations with RBG, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty and Law.

Welcome to the show, Jeff.

Jeffrey Rosen: Great to be here.

J. Craig Williams: Well you’ve got your own podcast on this, but let’s do a little bit of talking here about some of these recent SCOTUS decisions. Let’s talk about the overall aspect of what you’ve been seeing in terms of the development from this year especially with the appointment of new justices.

Jeffrey Rosen: This was the term that Chief Justice John Roberts made the court his own. It is remarkable to see how repeatedly he put the institutional legitimacy of the court front and center. He’s been talking about this as his goal for the court since his appointment. I had the opportunity to have an amazing interview with him in 2006 when he was just finishing his first term and he said he hoped to put institutional legitimacy at the center of all the court’s rulings.

He said it was bad for the court and bad for the country when the justices divided five to four along partisan lines. He thought it was important for citizens to see the court as something larger than the partisan composition of its justices and he said he would try to encourage his colleagues to converge around narrow bipartisan opinions unanimous or nearly so to avoid the appearance of politics and this is the term that he did it.

It’s just remarkable how in the Trump subpoena cases which were 7-2, two religious liberty cases also 7-2, the unanimous electoral college decision, he achieved that bipartisanship that has that he’s long sought.

And then as you said in the intro, in significant cases, he sided with liberals. In particular, in

Upholding the DREAMers Act, the DACA case, and then there was that remarkable 6-3 LGBTQ rights decision written by Justice Gorsuch.

So it’s such a partisan time and the justices are so acutely aware of the attacks on the legitimacy of the presidency congress and the courts. It’s clear that this is the term that Chief Justice Roberts not only himself insisted on upholding the institutional legitimacy of the court but got buy-in from his new colleagues, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as well as from the other justices.

J. Craig Williams: Well, let’s take the — since you mentioned that the Trump decision

and the subpoenas, the president is not above the law, is that basically the message that 00:04:55?

(00:04:56)

Jeffrey Rosen: Well, it sure is. I mean the court said it repeatedly that — Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said it in their concurring opinion and even the dissenters, Alito and Thomas agreed that the president is not above the law but what was so important here is that in the case involving the subpoena from the grand jury in New York, the court refused to change the rules. It did not create a new higher standard. It said that the same subpoena rules and civil cases applied to the president as anyone else just as it had done in the U.S. v. Nixon case and in the Clinton against Jones case and that was extremely significant.

And then the Mazer’s case involving subpoenas from congress, the court said it had never quite faced this situation before of congress seeking material for an investigation that might also be relevant for prosecution and it essentially created a new standard for balancing the interests of the president against those of congress but it was sufficiently deferential to congress that the liberal justices, Breyer and Kagan were able to buy in as well as the other liberal justices and to embrace this notion that the president is not above the law.

So it can only be called a tour de force of an achievement for Chief Justice Roberts who explicitly invoked and this was obviously important to him the example of his hero and greatest predecessor, John Marshall who issued a subpoena to his rival, Thomas Jefferson in the Aaron Burr case and Roberts told that history with great vividness in asserting the president’s liability to subpoena here.

You know, hindsight is easy but it wasn’t obvious from the oral argument how this case was going to go. The justices were keeping their cards close and the fact that the court avoided a 5-4 split and achieved near unanimity is hugely significant.

C. Craig Williams: So this congress left with the remedy under the Supreme Court’s opinion, can they access President Trump’s financial records?

Jeffrey Rosen: Of course, the answer is always complicated. Maybe eventually. No time, in the next couple of weeks the test that the Supreme Court asked lower courts to apply was sufficiently complicated that it’ll buy the president several months and maybe run out the clock until the election. But eventually, congress could get the records and certainly future congresses can get presidential records.

They just have to be a little more precise in specifying what they want and for the court was trying to avoid fishing expeditions.  It’s generally the president had been. Congress can get records for legislative but not investigatory purposes and here the court created a more precise balancing test for distinguishing between a legislative investigative purpose.

J. Craig Williams: So in the other case, will the prosecutors be allowed access to those records and will we as citizens be seeing them prior to the election?

Jeffrey Rosen: It seems like the prosecutors are likely to get the records. The president has already challenged the subpoena as over broad as any litigant can do and as the court suggested that he could, but the lower court and appellate judges in New York have not proved depressed by these assertions of presidential privilege.

So it seems like that case will proceed, the grand jury is likely to get the information. It’s hard to time it out exactly. But, of course, this is a civil investigation or that could continue after the president leaves office, which means that if the grand jury is persuaded, there could be charges brought. After he leaves office, grand jury material is secret. So it doesn’t easily leak.

So citizens shouldn’t expect to see it any time soon although they might eventually and that case should indeed go forward.

J. Craig Williams: Right. Well, we’ve seen — I guess now, we’ve seen some at the behest of Mary Trump through the New York Times and maybe that would be the only way some of it comes out.

Well, let’s talk about the religious cases. There were I think three basic religious cases, Espinoza vs. Montana, religion and schools. There was Our Lady of Guadalupe School vs. Morrissey-Berru, the religion and teacher’s case and then the little Sisters of the Poor vs. Pennsylvania, religion and birth control. Is there a consistency here in these religious cases or they sufficiently separate?

Jeffrey Rosen: On We the People, this week, we just recorded a really great podcast on the three religion cases with two of America’s leading scholars, the conservative scholar, Michael McConnell and the liberal scholar, Leah Litman. And it was a very deep and rich discussion which I can’t quickly summarize although check checkout the podcast.

But I guess Michael McConnell has argued indeed on the podcast that through line is religious pluralism that the court is allowing individuals to express themselves religiously without any coercion from the states and is making public aid available to them on equal terms as it’s available to secular institutions while at the same time is granting them exemptions from laws that offend their religious scruples.

(00:10:01)

Leah Litman argued on the other side that this is really a chipping away at the wall between church and state and the combination of the new autonomy granted to religious groups under the expanded ministerial exemption to generally applicable laws combined with the fact that they can now get aid means that they’re going to be able to take aid but not have to abide by anti-discrimination laws. And that means they’ll be treated especially rather than neutrally.

So I won’t presume to pick one of those two positions. They’re both powerfully argued but it might be interesting if you want to take another beat on them to talk first about Espinoza which was the 5-4 case where unanimity eluded Chief Justice Roberts. That was a conservative against liberal split. And then the two other cases which were 7-2 where the liberals did join the conservatives which was striking.

J. Craig Williams: Right. Let’s talk first then about Espinoza, religion and schools.

Jeffrey Rosen: So this is a case involving a program that the Montana Legislature set up that grants tax credits to people who give to organizations that have scholarships for private school tuition. And there had been this provision of the Montana constitution that bars government aid to any schools controlled in any part by a church sector denomination. This is one of a series of amendments to state constitutions known as Blaine Amendments that were adopted in the 19th century as Justice Alito have said in his separate opinion, these were designed to stop any aid from going to the catholic church and they had a kind of anti-Catholic bias.

And applying that amendment, the lower court said, “No, the religious schools, the still water Christian school, you can’t get this tax credit.” And the Supreme Court disagreed and in Chief Justice Roberts 5-4 decision, he said the application of this no aid provision discriminated against religious schools in violation of the free exercise clause of the first amendment and therefore, it had to fall.

Here’s the interesting split. The court had said in a unanimous decision not so long ago that the free exercise clause protects religious observers against unequal treatment or special disabilities on the basis of religious status and the court had said recently that for example the school wanted money to fix a rubber mat in a playground, it could get that money if it was a religious school or a secular school as long as government wasn’t deciding who got the aid. It was available to all on neutral terms. Here what was controversial is that the teacher in the school who was being funded by the scholarship money would actually have the potential of teaching religion, it wasn’t just a rubber mat, but the majority said it didn’t matter exactly how the aid was used as long as it was private choice rather than governmental choice that determined who got the aid then there was no violation of the establishment clause of the constitution and in fact, the free exercise clause forbade a differential treatment between the religious and non-religious schools.

There’s a very vigorous dissenting opinion by the liberal justices. The lead dissent was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who said that this was a clear violation of uh the wall separation between church and state and the court had not previously allowed government funds to go in ways that could subsidize religious teaching itself. And that’s how she would have distinguished the case from the rubber playground map case. So, that was the Espinosa case. And it looked like after that case that there were going to be other 5-4 divides in the religion cases but that is not what happened.

J. Craig Williams: Well, in Our Lady of Guadalupe School, it was 7-2 and that was in a situation I think where religion and teachers came to head. The teachers wanted labor laws to apply but the court said your ministers, is that essentially it?

Jeffrey Rosen: That’s essentially it. And it was an expansion of the ministerial exception that the court had invoked in a case called Hosanna-Tabor from just a few years ago. And that case basically said, “If you hold yourself out as a formal minister, then you can’t be subject necessarily to generally applicable laws that the court disagrees with on religious grounds.” So, in other words, the court could fire a minister for being gay, if being gay violated church religious teachings. That was the holding of Hosanna-Tabor.

What was at stake in this Our Lady of Guadalupe case, what about a teacher who’s not a minister or not mostly a religion teacher, but say teaches history and may kind of teach some religion on the side, can you get the ministerial exemption? And here, seven justices not just the five conservatives joined by Justice Breyer and Kagan and said, “Yes, we don’t want to be too formalistic about identifying ministers, you don’t have to call yourself a minister or actually be a leader as long as the church — and we’re not going to second guess what the church says if they think that you’re playing a role in teaching religious doctrine, then you get the ministerial exemption.

(00:15:11)

J. Craig Williams: Any distinction in this case for those teachers that hire on as private teachers? You know, essentially non-religious here I am teaching an art class that has little of anything to do with religion other than perhaps the subject matter?

Jeffrey Rosen: Yes, it’s a great question. And it seemed from the decision that if the teacher had no religious role whatsoever, who’s purely a gym teacher or an art teacher without any religious role, they couldn’t claim the ministerial exemption. And some speculated that Justices Kagan and Breyer joined the decision in order to narrow the holdings so that it was clear that not everyone was covered the concurring opinion by Justices Alito I think it was, would have refused to second-guess the court and given — sorry Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion and it was a concurring opinion by Justice Thomas that Justice Horsuch joined where he said whoever the church says is a minister, we’re not going to second guess that and even if they said that the gym teacher had some religious function. Courts aren’t going to second guess that but the majority opinion didn’t go that far and as you said that there might be some teachers who wouldn’t be covered.

J. Craig Williams: Right. Well, Jeff, thank you. Before we get on to the next, Little Sisters religious case, we’re going to take a quick break to hear a message from our sponsors. We’ll be right back.

[Music]

J. Craig Williams: 80 of callers who reach voicemail hang-up. Hiring an answering service means that you never miss a lead. LEX Reception can take your calls live and a legal intake and schedule appointments in a professional manner for less than the cost of hiring an in-house employee. There are no contracts and the service is quick and easy to set up. For 50% off your first month service, visit lexreception.com/lawyer2lawyer.

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[Music]

J. Craig Williams: Welcome back to Lawyer 2 Lawyer. I am Craig Williams and with us today is Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center and also host of the We the People podcast.

We’ve been discussing the recent SCOTUS rulings and before the break, Jeff, we were going to get into the Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Pennsylvania where the court essentially said if birth control offends the religious group, then they don’t have to offer it as medical coverage. How does that fit into what we’ve been talking about so far?

Jeffrey Rosen: That’s a great crisp summary of it and that’s basically what the court said. Here, it was a question of administrative law. In other words, is the Trump department of health and human services as well as the labor and the treasury departments allowed to incorporate guidelines that give the health resources and service administration the discretion to exempt religious employers like churches from providing contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And the majority of the court, 7-2 said, yes we’re going to defer to this administrative ruling by the Trump health and resources and services administration.

Here, what was significant is that Justices Breyer and Kagan wrote a separate concurrence saying, “Yes, we defer. Generally, as a matter of administrative law, this still has to go back to the lower courts and we think that this regulation might fail to satisfy the Administrative Procedures Act’s requirement of reasoned decision-making once it goes back to the courts below.” So they weren’t ultimately saying that they were endorsing the legality of the rule but they did think that the statute was sufficiently mushy that the department should get some deference.

So this has been a long-standing dispute between this group, the Little Sisters of the Poor that don’t want to provide contraceptive coverage. The Obama administration had tried to accommodate them by saying you don’t have to provide the coverage. All you have to do is certify that you have a religious objection. They came back and said even certifying it offends our religious beliefs. The Supreme Court came up with a workaround so that they could basically get the exemption without certifying it and in this latest round, the court said that the Trump administration’s way of dealing with the problem was okay. Not hugely significant as a matter of the free exercise of religion except that it represents an expansion of the question at issue in the very significant Hobby Lobby case where the court held that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which is a statute, the Hobby Lobby corporation, a group of religiously owned bookstores didn’t have to provide contraception or abortion coverage under the Affordable Care Act and the question of how broadly that exemption is going to be expanded is hugely significant because the liberal justices in their dissenting opinion in Hobby Lobby said this could be a huge hole through anti-discrimination laws.

(00:20:19)

Any employers who says that they have religious scruples could refuse to abide by Title VII which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and now is interpreted by the Supreme Court is term sexual orientation.

Next term, the Supreme Court will take up a case from Pennsylvania that more squarely poses the question of whether the free exercise clause of the first amendment requires religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. That’s the question that was sort of danced around in this latest Little Sisters case and it’ll be very interesting of course and important to see what the court does in that Pennsylvania case.

J. Craig Williams: Right. And to just slide it down, that slippery slope, we can talk about the beliefs of the church of the flying spaghetti monster.

Jeffrey Rosen: That sounds like a very interesting church.

J. Craig Williams: Well, let’s — it’s a good segue though into the — from our birth control case to the abortion case, June Medical Services vs. Russo. What happened there?

Jeffrey Rosen: Well, that was just a very important case. Just a few years before in 2016, in the Hellerstedt case, the Supreme Court had held that the State of Texas could not impose admitting privilege requirements on doctors who performed abortions that that would impose an undue burden on women who were seeking abortions because it would effectively limit the number of clinics in the state to a handful. That Hellerstedt decision was a 5-4 decision written by the liberal justices, joined then by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The big question now is Justice Kennedy is retired. Was it going to go the other way? And what was so significant here is that Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal justices in holding that Louisiana could not impose an essentially identical admitting privileges requirement even though he’d been on the other side in the Hellerstedt case.

Why did he do that? Because of his respect for president. He wrote a concurring opinion saying I was on the other side in this case. I disagree with it as an original matter but I think it’s important for citizens to have stability in the law — reliance interests are important. In other words, when citizens come to rely on a particular rule, that shouldn’t be changed based on a simple change in the composition of the court after just a year or two. That would appear to make the law look purely political and dependent on the composition of the court so that’s such a powerful expression of his interest in institutional legitimacy combining with an interest in president and leading him to switch sides for that reason.

Now, of course, everyone is looking to this case as a preview for what Chief Justice Roberts might do when it comes time to reconsider Roe vs. Wade. You know, it’s always hard to read 00:23:02 you could say in this case, the Hellerstedt decision had been just a few years ago, Roe was many years ago, maybe it’d be different but it appears from this case that the chief takes president seriously enough that he thinks when citizens have come to rely on a decision, he’s not going to lightly overturn it and good news now is there’s no more closely scrutinized decision than Roe.

So, it wouldn’t be – you mentioned this book that I had the great honor of writing for I’ll say Justice Ginsburg collected our interviews over the years and in a recent interview from two years ago, that’s in the book, I asked Justice Ginsburg, “Will the court overturn Roe?” And she said, “No, I do not think that the court will overturn Roe, largely because of Chief Justice Roberts.” And she suggested that she thought he would vote to uphold the president because he cares about institutional legitimacy. And that this June Medical case indicates that her belief is well founded.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the Chief Justice might not chip away at Roe and create exceptions to it and make it less protection for reproductive choice that now exists. But it does suggest that he might be reluctant to overturn it cleanly and that is why June Medical is so significant.

J. Craig Williams: Well, the next time you get to ask Justice Ginsburg some questions, ask her if she thinks that Roe will turn out the way that Miranda turned out.

Jeffrey Rosen: Well that’s a very interesting question turnout in the sense of being reaffirmed because as you suggest, Chief Justice Rehnquist in that case of course said that Miranda had come to be accepted by the culture and that was the reason that he gave for affirming and it’s a great example.

Chief Justice Rehnquist’s vote in Miranda was one that Chief Justice Roberts cited to me during the 2006 interview when he said that the chief justice he thought was voting in ways he wouldn’t have as an associate justice because he cared about the institutional legitimacy of the court.

(00:25:01)

Chief Justice Roberts also said he thought that Rehnquist would have voted differently if he were an associate justice as indicated by the fact that the late Justice Scalia was limited at that decision. You know, he just scorned Chief Justice Rehnquist for taking into account the decisions of the culture but Rehnquist like Roberts seems to think that sort of thing is important.

J. Craig Williams: Yes. And it also brings up one of the other blockbuster cases, the LGBTQ case Bostock vs. Clayton County and the role of Chief Justice Roberts in that case.

Jeffrey Rosen: It’s an amazing case, a 6-3 decision where the court held the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which makes it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual because of such individual’s race, color religion, sex or national origin includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender or LGBTQ status. And the court held yes and the decision was by Justice Gorsuch. That by itself is very significant. We know that since Chief Justice Roberts was in the majority, he could have written the decision himself but instead, he chose to assign it to Justice Gorsuch perhaps because he knew that Justice Gorsuch would write such a strong and sweeping opinion. And Justice Gorsuch is a principled textualist. He argued in the case that the court should interpret the words because of sex in terms of their plain meaning. It doesn’t matter said Justice Gorsuch that congress wasn’t thinking of sexual orientation in 64. It also doesn’t matter that congress had considered and failed to pass amendments to the Civil Rights Act that would have included sexual orientation. Justice Gorsuch said that when an employer treats a man who’s married to a man differently than he would have treated a man who’s married to a woman, then that employer is discriminating because of sex. That was his argument. And six justices joined him.

The dissenters disagreed. They would have focused more on context and on the fact that congress wasn’t thinking about sexual orientation in 1964 that congress had refused to add the sexual orientation as a protected status and that the court misinterpreted the law and there were dissents by Justice Alito and Justice Kavanaugh who made versions of those points.

It’s interesting that Chief Justice Roberts himself is not a consistent textualist in the second Affordable Care Act case, King against Burwelle. He said we have to look at context in deciding how congress meant the Medicaid expansion to apply. But as he made clear in our interview back in 2006, he’s more interested in institutional legitimacy than in methodological purity. So he certainly agreed with the result in in this master case and if it took a clear expression of principal textualism to get there, well, he was happy to join that as were the other liberal justices.

So a very significant case, some have called it more important than the marriage equality case in terms of its practical impact for the lives of LGBTQ individuals throughout America and it was just really significant that it was written by Justice Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice Roberts.

J. Craig Williams: How has the conservative community reacted to Gorsuch’s and Kavanaugh’s apparent changes of opinion that they thought that putting them on the Supreme Court was going to guarantee decisions that they haven’t reached?

Jeffrey Rosen: Well, I would say that there’s a group of fair-minded conservatives who recognize that far from changing his approach, Justice Gorsuch is doing exactly what he said he would do in his confirmation hearings which is be principled texturalists and originalists and let the heavens fall as the lawyers say. It doesn’t matter what the result is, he’s just going to follow what he thinks the text and original understanding requires.

J. Craig Williams: Makes perfect sense.

Jeffrey Rosen: Makes perfect sense. And that has led Justice Gorsuch to side with the more liberal justices in five to four cases more frequently than any other conservative justice and also to have other unexpected pairings like he and Justice Ginsburg alone dissented from the court’s decision to incorporate the double jeopardy — not to incorporate the double jeopardy provisions.

So he’s just willing to go his own way when he thinks that text and original understanding requires other conservative commentators have been less understanding and they’ve said this is an outrage we appointed these justices to vote our way, they’re a disappointment and then their ire of course has been especially directed at Chief Justice Roberts this term.

But that’s what you get when you view the court in partisan terms and it’s both Chief Justice Roberts’s mission as well as that of Justice Gorsuch and most of the other justices to help citizens see the court not in partisan but in legal, constitutional methodological terms.

(00:30:02)

That’s why it’s our mission at the constitution center to encourage listeners and viewers to learn about the constitutional methodologies, what’s the difference between a conservative textualist and a conservative purposivist who cares about the purpose or context of a law, what’s the difference in textualism and originalism between Chief Justice Roberts’ focus on institutional legitimacy and the originalism of Justice Gorsuch. Distinguish among Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. Justice Kavanaugh has voted with Chief Justice Roberts more frequently than any other justice not so much Justice Gorsuch.

So if you view all justices like as conservative or liberal, you miss all that’s interesting and nuance about the ways that their different methodologies and approaches to law lead them to different results and that’s why it’s exciting to study the constitution in the court.

J. Craig Williams: Yeah, I’ve so enjoyed this discussion. I wish we had an hour to talk about it and I know we have several more cases that were, you know, had big effects but there’s one coming upstarted recently about the DHS Police in Portland and potentially in Chicago. There’s been a challenge to that based on a number of things, the lack of identification, the imposition of federal police in a state situation even though there’s claims to protect federal property, the taking of citizens by unnamed people into unnamed locations and unnamed vehicles and so forth, you may have read about it. But I’d like to get your predictions on, where you think that’s going to turn out?

Jeffrey Rosen: I can only have an informed opinion about these cases once I kind of walk out and hear the arguments on both sides. We’ve not yet done a podcast on the Portland case and I hope we will. I have read the newspapers of course but I haven’t dug closely enough into the really complicated legal arguments enough to give you any kind of confident prediction but if you have him back on the show, and the case is still alive, then we’ll have a sense of it and if you tune in to We the People, the National Constitution Centers podcast, then maybe we’ll have a show on that in the next week or so and you’ll hear from folks on both sides who really know what they’re talking about.

J. Craig Williams: Wonderful. And Jeffrey, I’d like to recommend Jeff’s podcast, We the People. You can find it at constitutioncenter.org/debate/podcasts.

Jeff, it’s been a pleasure having you on the show today. Before we close the day, let’s get your contact information and perhaps some final thoughts from you.

Jeffrey Rosen: Sure. Well, thanks for the plug for We the People. It would be great if all of your listeners checked us out. It’s so exciting to learn every week from top liberal and conservative scholars and to have civil debate about these great legal issues and I hope your listeners will also check out our interactive constitution. It’s this amazing free online platform at constitutioncenter.org. You can click on any provision of the constitution and see the top liberal and conservative scholars in America writing a thousand words about what they agree the provision means and then separate statements about what they disagree about.

It just blows my mind every time I’ve learned about some new clause that I hadn’t really dug into and there’s also podcasts, videos, the ability to explore early drafts of the constitution and finally, I always feel like a 00:33:06 salesman but there’s more. We’re offering live classes on the constitution starting again in the fall as people around the country are learning at home, you can find that on the interactive constitution, they’re free and three times a week. Starting in September, my colleagues and I at the constitution center will be teaching about the constitution and it would be great if you check us out online.

J. Craig Williams: So for any lawyers, do any of your classes in teaching qualify for CLE credits?

Jeffrey Rosen: Yes, indeed they do. Thank you for asking. Many of our public programs and town halls qualify for CLE and those are even less — they are just as much fun as the classes themselves. Those are programs like hearing the state attorneys’ general of Ohio and Michigan debate pleasing reform or great scholars or Supreme Court Justices and so forth so.

If there’s just a huge amount of content that the constitution center is privileged to host, you can get CLE credit for it. Go to constitutioncenter.org and I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the constitution as much as we do.

J. Craig William: Thank you Jeff. We really appreciate you being on the show. That’s just fantastic.

Well, for our listeners, if you have liked what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcasts, or your favorite podcasting app. You can also visit us at legaltalknetwork.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter.

I am Craig Williams, thanks for listening and join us next time for another great legal topic. When you want legal, think Lawyer 2 Lawyer.

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Episode Details
Published: July 24, 2020
Podcast: Lawyer 2 Lawyer
Category: Legal News
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Lawyer 2 Lawyer
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Lawyer 2 Lawyer is a legal affairs podcast covering contemporary and relevant issues in the news with a legal perspective.

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09/04/20
The President, the Press, and the Dossier

Professor Stephen Gillers and attorney Charles Glasser discuss an alleged dossier against Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold and the current and historic relationships between...

08/21/20
The Constitutionality of the President’s Recent Executive Orders

Professors Kim Wehle and Michael McConnell discuss the constitutionality of President Trump's recent use of executive orders.

08/07/20
A Look at Voting in the Upcoming Election

Jim Gardner, a specialist in election law out of the University at Buffalo School of Law, discusses voting in the upcoming election, mail-in voting,...

07/24/20
Standout SCOTUS Rulings, the Justices, and Impact

Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, discusses SCOTUS, some of SCOTUS’ more notable recent decisions, the justices, and the impacts...

07/10/20
Celebrating the Upcoming 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

Historian Ellen Carol DuBois and law professor Paula Monopoli discuss the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the official adoption of the 19th Amendment and take...