Strict Scrutiny

Strict Scrutiny

Strict Scrutiny is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it. The show is hosted by three women, Leah Litman, Kate Shaw and Melissa Murray, who are three law professors, but they’re also swimmers, mothers (of humans and dogs), and celebrity gossip enthusiasts. They’re women who’ve practiced before and write about the Court in their professional lives. They have a different voice–one that celebrates the contributions and opinions of women and people of color. They provide intelligent and in-depth legal analysis alongside their unvarnished, respectfully irreverent takes. And they want to do it in a way that is accessible to a variety of listeners, including Supreme Court regulars, lawyers, law students, and members of the public who are looking for a window into the Court’s decisions, as well as its culture, personalities, and folkways. The hosts think SCOTUS is serious business—but they don’t take ourselves or the Court too seriously. They’ve got hot takes, jokes, and a lot to say.

Episodes

May 16, 2022 81 min

Kate and Leah spend some additional time on possible fallout from a Dobbs opinion overruling or eviscerating Roe. They interview two people with insight on what we can expect in a post-Roe world. Diana Greene Foster is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and a researcher on reproductive health at UCSF. She's also the author of The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and t...

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Kate, Melissa, and Leah recap the remaining arguments from the April session: Nance v. Ward [1:38] and Biden v. Texas [18:04]. They also get into a unanimous opinion about religious speech [43:28], and of course, break down some court culture before continuing their investigation into the leaked draft opinion [52:30].

Protect Abortion Access. Donate to Abortion Funds. VoteSaveAmerica.com/roe

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Kate, Leah and Melissa get together for an emergency episode to discuss a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that indicates the justices are prepared to overrule the decisions protecting and reaffirming the constitutional right to an abortion.

 

Protect Abortion Access. Donate to Abortion Funds: http://votesaveamerica.com/roe

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May 2, 2022 73 min

Leah, Kate, and Melissa bring you a jam-packed show recapping news, arguments, and opinions from the Supreme Court in the past couple weeks. Recaps include "the praying coach case," aka Kennedy v. Bremerton School District [10:26], Shoop v. Twyford [45:27], and Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta [50:05]. We also do some math trying to figure out who might-- or might not-- have the still-to-come opinion in Dobbs [57:21], and get out ...

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April 25, 2022 65 min

Kate's off glamping, so Leah and Melissa are left to their own devices to recap SCOTUS news [1:37], arguments from the first week in the April sitting [27:09], and fresh opinions [54:00]. Plus, a new game: X-Treme Textualism.

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April 18, 2022 61 min

Leah, Kate, and Melissa catch up on SCOTUS news (including more shadow docket activity and shady Thomas behavior) [1:04] and preview the cases the Supreme Court will hear in their last sitting of the term [35:54]. The justices will be going out with a bang, hearing cases about veteran benefits, Miranda warnings, immigration, and of course, religious liberty.

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April 11, 2022 52 min

Melissa interviews Linda Greenhouse about her new book, Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court. This conversation was originally a live, virtual event from the Brennen Center for Justice, produced in part­ner­ship with New York University’s John Brademas Center.

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April 4, 2022 60 min

Leah and Kate catch up on all SCOTUS-related "antics" that happened in March-- including the latest in Ginni Thomas news [00:55], opinions [25:06], oral arguments [40:23], and non-Thomas-related news [52:56].

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March 28, 2022 82 min

Leah, Kate, and Melissa watched all the confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson-- so you don't have to. Here's our recap of the best, worst, and weirdest moments throughout four days of questioning.

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March 21, 2022 76 min

Rebecca Nagle, host of This Land, joins Leah and Kate to discuss the issues at stake in Brackeen v. Haaland, a case challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act that the Supreme Court will hear next term.

Plus, Kate and Leah catch you up on the latest in SB8 news, an opinion written by Justice Kagan, and the cases the Supreme Court will hear in the next two weeks [20:54]. There's also more drama with Ginni Thomas [51:50], a judge tr...

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March 14, 2022 46 min

Kate and Leah talk with Cary Franklin, the McDonald/Wright Chair of Law and Faculty Director of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, about her article "Living Textualism." The article is a broad critique of textualism, using the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County as a foundation.

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March 7, 2022 89 min

Rachel Rothschild, legal fellow at the Institute for Policy Integrity, joins Kate and Melissa to recap oral argument in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. They also recap cases about prescription drugs, tribal casinos, outpatient dialysis, and what happens when a state wants to enforce a law that's no longer in effect. Plus, there's more on KBJ's pending confirmation, Ginni Thomas's doings, and Sam Al...

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March 3, 2022 53 min

Leah recaps Denezpi v. United States, an important case about tribal sovereignty, with Matthew Fletcher (Michigan State University & Chief Justice of the Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians Court of Appeals) & April Youpee-Roll (Munger Tolles & Olson), which may involve … Neil Gorsuch’s heel turn in Indian law?!?

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February 28, 2022 65 min

Melissa, Kate, & Leah discuss the historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson – KBJ, Yay! – to the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Lisa Fairfax (University of Pennsylvania, Carey School of Law) joins us to share some personal perspective on Judge Jackson after decades of friendship.

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February 26, 2022 76 min

Leah discusses the upcoming climate change case, West Virginia v. EPA, with Lisa Heinzerling and Kirti Datla (1:06). Slate's Mark Joseph Stern joins later to tee up a case the Court has granted for argument next term, 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case involving a graphic designer who doesn’t want to create websites for same-sex couples (49:48).

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February 21, 2022 54 min

Leah, Kate, & Melissa run through a bunch of Court adjacent news-- including this Jane Mayer piece about Ginni Thomas-- before highlighting the big cases to watch in the February sitting.

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February 16, 2022 43 min

Leah's dreams come true with an episode all about a resentencing case, and the meaning of the First Step Act of 2018-- Concepcion v. United States. Tiffany Wright and Easha Anand join in.

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February 14, 2022 52 min

Kate, Melissa, and Leah interview Professors Julian Davis Mortenson and Nick Bagley about the nondelegation doctrine

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February 9, 2022 33 min

Deuel Ross, senior counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, joins Leah and Kate to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision allowing an election in Alabama to proceed under a legislative map that dilutes the voting power of Black Alabamians. 

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February 7, 2022 56 min

Melissa, Kate, and Leah sit down with Ruth Marcus, the author of Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover.

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