Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, justice, and the courts

Slate Podcasts

A legal podcast with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick

  • 40 minutes 36 seconds
    How Originalism Ate The Law: What We Can Do About It

    In the third and final part of our How Originalism Ate the Law series, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern are joined by Justice Todd Eddins of the Hawaii Supreme Court and Madiba Dennie, author of The Originalism Trap. Being trapped by originalism is a choice, one that judges, lawyers, and the American people do not have to accede to. Our expert panel offers ideas and action points for pushing back against a mode of constitutional interpretation that has had deadly consequences. And they answer questions from our listeners. 

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    22 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 1 hour 35 seconds
    Alito’s Stars and Gripes

    Justice Samuel Alito’s wife didn’t attend the January 6th 2021 “Stop the Steal” rally (unlike fellow SCOTUS spouse Ginni Thomas), but in January 2021, in a leafy Alexandria, Virginia cul-de-sac, the New York Times reports that the Alito household was engaged in a MAGA-infused front yard spat with the neighbors, even as the Justice was deciding  cases regarding that very election at the highest court in the land. Justice Alito told the New York Times his wife was responsible for the upside down stars and stripes flying from their flagpole and that it was in retaliation for an an anti-Trump sign.   


    It’s unseemly. Undoubtedly unethical. But this intra-suburban squabble, and the very clear implications it has for a public already aware of the Supreme Court’s dwindling legitimacy, is unlikely to evoke shame, amends, or recusal from Justice Alito. On this week’s Amicus, American legal exceptionalism sliced three ways: Dahlia Lithwick on the Justice and the Flag, Slate’s jurisprudence editor Jeremy Stahl on how Donald J. Trump’s  criminal hush money trial ends, and Congressman Jamie Raskin on concrete steps to supreme court reform, how to get back the rights the Supreme Court has taken away, and what a binding ethics code would look like. 



    Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    18 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 52 minutes 31 seconds
    How Originalism Ate The Law: The Trap

    Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. 

    In the second part of our series on Amicus and at Slate.com, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern are back on the originalism beat. This week they’re trying to understand the mechanisms of what Professor Saul Cornell calls “the originalism industrial complex” and how those mechanisms plug into the highest court in the land. They’re also asking how and why liberals failed to find an effective answer to originalism, even as the various “originalist” ways of deciding who’s history counts, what constitutional law counts, which people count, were supercharged by Trump’s SCOTUS picks. Madiba Dennie, author of The Originalism Trap, highlights how the Supreme Court turned to originalism to gut voting rights. In 2022, the US Supreme Court’s originalism binge ran roughshod over precedent and unleashed Dobbs and Bruen on the American people - Mark and Dahlia talk to a state Supreme Court justice about what it’s like trying to apply the law amid these constitutional earthquakes. 

    In today’s Slate Plus bonus episode, Dahlia talks to AJ Jacobs about his year of living constitutionally, and she confesses to an attempt to smuggle contraband into One, First Street. 

    Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. 

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    11 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 47 minutes 52 seconds
    How Originalism Ate the Law: The Trick

    Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here.

    In this, the first part of a special series on Amicus and at Slate.com, we are lifting the lid on an old-timey sounding method of constitutional interpretation that has unleashed a revolution in our courts, and an assault on our rights. But originalism’s origins are much more recent than you suppose, and its effects much more widespread than the constitutional earthquakes of overturning settled precedent like Roe v Wade or supercharging gun rights as in Heller and Bruen. Originalism’s aftershocks are being felt throughout the courts, the law, politics and our lives, and we haven’t talked about it enough. On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern explore the history of originalism. They talk to Professor Jack Balkin about its religious valence, and Saul Cornell about originalism’s first major constitutional triumph in Heller. And they’ll tell you how originalism’s first big public outing fell flat, thanks in part to Senator Ted Kennedy’s ability to envision the future, as well as the past.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    4 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 57 minutes 58 seconds
    Democracy Dies at SCOTUS

    Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. 


    This past week (that lasted about a year) at the Supreme Court began badly and only went downhill from there. By Wednesday, justices were trying to set aside the facts of women being airlifted out of states where they can no longer access care to protect their major organs and reproductive future, if that emergency healthcare indicates an abortion - in favor of pondering the spending clause. On Thursday, the shocking reality of the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6th 2021, and former President Trump’s many schemes to overturn the election and stay in power, were relegated to lower-case concerns as opposed to ALL CAPS panic over hypothetical aggressive prosecutors. 

    On this week’s Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by leading constitutional scholar and former assistant Professor Pam Karlan of Stanford Law School and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Slate’s senior legal writer Mark Joseph Stern also joins the conversation about the MAGA justices flying the flag in arguments in Trump v United States.


    In today’s bonus episode only for Slate Plus members, Jeremy Stahl gives Dahlia Lithwick a view from inside the courtroom of Donald Trump’s hush money trial. 


    Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.


    Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    27 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 7 minutes 54 seconds
    PREVIEW: Abortion Gaslighting is Back at SCOTUS

    Listen to a preview of this urgent extra episode of Amicus. The full episode is available to our Slate Plus members. Listen to it now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.


    Wednesday morning, the court heard arguments in Moyle v. United States, the consolidated case tackling what levels of care pregnant patients can be provided in emergency rooms in states with draconian anti-abortion laws. 

    And on Thursday morning, the High Court will hear Trump v. United States, the case in which the former president - who is currently spending much of his time slouched at the defendant’s table in New York City - will claim a kind of vast sweeping theory of immunity that roughly translates as - “when you’re president, they let you do it. You can do anything”. In an extra episode of Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern dig into what happened in the EMTALA arguments Wednesday morning and then look ahead to Thursday’s arguments in the immunity case. 

    Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show. 

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    24 April 2024, 10:00 pm
  • 38 minutes 49 seconds
    Twelve Jurors and One Angry Ex-President

    Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here. 

    The first criminal trial of Donald Trump is finally here. This week, hundreds of possible jurors filed through Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom in lower Manhattan. The selection process was a preview of some of the challenges and pitfalls in the first ever criminal trial of a sitting or former President. On this week’s show, Slate’s senior legal writer Mark Joseph Stern sits down with Slate jurisprudence editor and Chief Law of Trump™ correspondent Jeremy Stahl to discuss what we learned this week, and what we can expect when the trial truly gets underway next week. 


    In today’s bonus episode only for Slate Plus members, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern welcome Justice Clarence Thomas back from his long weekend, with a close listen to the January 6th case that was argued before the court on Tuesday. Fischer v United States  is raising more alarm bells about the conservative justices’ posture toward armed insurrection. They also dig into  Justice Elena Kagan’s opinion in a potentially tricky TitleVII case that, miraculously for this court, went pretty well in terms of civil rights protections in the workplace. Listen now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    20 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 1 hour 8 minutes
    The Jurisprudence of Bleeding Out

    Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC on May 14th here.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that we have to keep saying it, but here we are: the Supreme Court (notably trained as lawyers) will soon make decisions about how doctors (notably trained as doctors) can treat pregnant patients in the emergency room. Moyle v. United States - consolidated with Idaho v. United States - is the result of an Idaho lawsuit challenging EMTALA, a federal law requiring hospitals to do whatever they can to stabilize whoever comes through their ER doors with a medical emergency. Sometimes this requires abortion care, and for a faction of conservative advocates, this cannot stand.


    Ahead of oral arguments the week after next, we wanted to get a sense of what healthcare looks like for pregnant women experiencing medical emergencies now, and how this case threatens to undermine that care in the future. This week, Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Dr. Dara Kass, an emergency medicine physician, about what EMTALA was built to do, what ER physicians are being asked to do, and what will happen should Idaho prevail in this case.


    Later in the show, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern joins to discuss the hullabaloo over when, if, and how Justice Sotomayor should be made to retire and the very gendered work of keeping SCOTUS from going off the rails (any more than it already has).


    In today’s bonus episode only for Slate Plus members Dahlia and Mark discuss the outrageous ruling that creates (but really, revives) a de facto total ban on abortions in Arizona. They also explain why the EMTALA case from the show isn’t being talked about as much as the recent mifepristone case was. Listen to it now by subscribing to Slate Plus. By joining, not only will you unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly extended episodes of Amicus, but you’ll also access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    13 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 40 minutes 26 seconds
    When Gag Orders Become Campaign-Performance Indicators

    After weeks of the Trump trials (and the run-up to the Trump trials) becoming ever more engrossing spectator sports, both the public and the media may have lost sight of some of the stakes. They also may have lost sight of the truth of what the legal system can actually deliver in terms of protecting democracy from Donald J Trump. 

    On this week’s Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Juliette Kayyem to dissect Trump's impact on legal, national security, and ideological fronts. Kayyem brings her national security expertise to discuss the evolution of Trump's tactics from stochastic terror to direct incitement. Together, they explore the implications for democracy of a presidential campaign where one candidate issues violent threats and tries to intimidate judges. Kayyem lays out in stark terms the kinds of focus and planning needed in the coming months.

    Juliette Kayyem is a national security expert, Harvard lecturer, CNN analyst, Atlantic contributor, and author of 'The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters.' Avowedly not a lawyer, she approaches America’s political predicament using counter-terrorism approaches to Trump’s movement and preparations for the 2024 elections. 


    Want more Amicus? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock exclusive SCOTUS analysis and weekly bonus episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/amicusplus to get access wherever you listen.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    6 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 51 minutes 21 seconds
    When RAGA Rhymes with MAGA

    It’s not quite red-yarn-on-a-corkboard, but given how often we’ve been thinking about the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) over the years, it may as well be. The group has become a vital component of the conservative legal movement, with pay-to-play access afforded to corporate donors to boot. Despite all the money changing hands and obvious conflicts of interest, few have heard of them - and that’s very intentional.

    This week we’re joined by Lisa Graves of True North Research to talk about how an organization representing the chief legal officers in half the states in the union has become a national policy juggernaut, pushing legislation and litigation to assist polluters, harm women and LGBTQ families, torment immigrants and even steal elections, all absent any significant oversight or consequences. 

    In this week’s bonus plus segment, Slate’s very own Mark Joseph Stern joins to discuss coverage of the oral arguments in the mifepristone case (including the hugely significant takeaway most of the analysis missed), and the reasons Neil Gorsuch hates nationwide injunctions. 

    And finally, following on from last week, thinking about the language we use to describe first trimester abortions.

    Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    30 March 2024, 7:00 am
  • 57 minutes 31 seconds
    How The Mifepristone Case Reached SCOTUS

    Well, it happened again. The hIgHeSt CoUrT will hear arguments Tuesday in a case based on made up facts! This time it’s mifepristone, the abortion drug at the center of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v FDA

    The claim was that the FDA approval process (three decades ago), for mifepristone, one of two medication abortion drugs, was haphazard and slapdash.. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine also argued that the FDA’s 2021 decision to allow telemedicine abortion and mailing of abortion pills violates a 19th-century anti-vice law called the Comstock Act.

    This week on the show Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Carrie N. Baker, Smith College professor and author of the forthcoming book Abortion Pills: US History and Politics. Baker says taking away the rights to access abortion pills in the mail could have catastrophic consequences for pregnant people, drug development, and privacy for all Americans.

    In this week’s subscribers-only segment, Slate’s Trump Law correspondent Jeremy Stahl gives us the updates on some of the cases against the former president - including the “a lot ton” of money he owes in New York, like starting on Monday. 

    Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    23 March 2024, 7:00 am
  • More Episodes? Get the App
© MoonFM 2024. All rights reserved.