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

October 3, 2022 73 min

It feels like we're still processing the end of last term, but alas, the first Monday in October is upon us. Kate, Melissa, and Leah kick off season 4 of Strict Scrutiny with a look ahead at what's sure to be another heinous Supreme Court term. 

Mark as Played

For the University of Michigan's Homecoming weekend, we held a special live recording for our season finale. Michelle Adams joins Kate and Leah to wrap up the justices' summer shenanigans and provide a look forward at the collegiate affirmative action cases coming before the Supreme Court this term. Plus, Sommer Foster, co-Executive Director at Michigan Voices, joins to talk to us about Reproductive Freedom For All, the bal...

Mark as Played

Leah talks with Wilfred Codrington III about his article, "Purcell in Pandemic," which appeared in the NYU Law Review. The Purcell Principle comes from a 2006 Supreme Court case about what makes an appropriate timeline for changing election laws. The principle wasn't clear to begin with, and has only gotten more confusing in litigation surrounding the 2020 election. Will we see it continue to play out in this year's...

Mark as Played

Kate, Leah, and Melissa convene a panel to persuade you that the fight for progressive causes has to include state courts and state constitutions. To get the lay of the land and identify the challenges ahead, they welcome four guests: Miriam Seifter of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jessica Bulman-Pozen of Columbia Law School, Daniel Nichanian of Bolts, and Alicia Bannon of the Brennan Center.

Mark as Played

With guests Jamelle Bouie and Carolyn Shapiro, Kate and Leah analyze the fan fiction that is the Independent State Legislature "Theory" (emphasis on the quotation marks), which threatens to take the main stage in an upcoming case about the power of state legislatures to set rules for federal elections. 

Mark as Played
August 29, 2022 57 min

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Leah and Melissa for a deep dive into West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court's major climate case last term.

Mark as Played

Somehow, it's only been less than two months since the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade with their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. But A LOT has happened since then. To further examine the fall-out, we assembled a stellar crew to help us get the lay of the post-Roe land: journalist Rebecca Traister, health law expert Michele Goodwin, and U.S. Congressman Mondaire Jones.

Mark as Played
August 15, 2022 85 min

Even though it's summer, there's a lot to catch up on in the legal world! Leah and Melissa talk with Grace Panetta, who co-wrote a piece for Business Insider on the GOP's plans for state constitutional conventions. And then they turn toward Kansas, where voters dramatically turned out to declare that reproductive freedom is an essential part of the state constitution. They're joined by several of the activists behin...

Mark as Played
August 8, 2022 59 min

Leah talks with Lee Kovarsky of the Capital Punishment Center at the University of Texas about the Supreme Court's treatment of death penalty cases.  Before 2020, there hadn't been a federal execution since 2003. In the last six months of the Trump presidency, there were 13. Lee tells us how that came to be, and what the justices' writings signal for future death penalty cases.

  • Read Lee's article, "The Trump Exec...
  • Mark as Played
    August 1, 2022 68 min

    It's a deep dive into law and religion in this conservative supermajority iteration of the Supreme Court. Kate talks with Micah Schwartzman of UVA and Nelson Tebbe of Cornell about some of the major religious liberty cases that have come before the Court in recent years, and what the Court may be signaling for the future.

    Mark as Played
    July 25, 2022 63 min

    Melissa interviews journalist Joshua Prager about his book, The Family Roe: An American Story. Prager spent hours interviewing Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe), her daughters, and other key figures throughout the decades-long debate over abortion rights in America.

    Mark as Played
    July 18, 2022 60 min

    While the Supreme Court gets all the focus, lower federal courts are just as much in need of reform. Unfortunately, rigging the courts is a game the GOP knows how to play. In this episode, Leah talks with Rakim Brooks of Alliance for Justice, and Brandon Hasbrouck* of Washington & Lee Law School, about how federal judges get picked, how Mitch McConnell has played the long game, and how the Democrats need to move forward in the ...

    Mark as Played
    July 11, 2022 82 min

    It was a long term. It's over. Leah, Melissa, and Kate recap what all happened, what we maybe learned out of it, and what we have to look forward to.

     

     

    For a transcript of this episode go to https://crooked.com/podcast-series/strict-scrutiny/

    Mark as Played

    The Supreme Court finally finished the OT2021 term-- and it was a doozy. Kate and Leah recap the last few opinions, including Oklahoma v. Castro Huerta, with special guest Greg Ablavsky of Stanford Law [3:55], and the "praying coach" case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District [34:22]. Then, a lighting round of four more opinions and other Court-related news [53:06].

     

    You’re angry. We’re angry. Let’s do something about it. Fr...

    Mark as Played

    Kate and Leah break down the "free-wheeling, free association analysis" of the Supreme Court's opinion in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. Basically, it's bad! And not just because of the impending climate apocalypse!

    Mark as Played

    The pace of opinion releases has accelerated considerably as we speed toward the end of June and the justices' vacations. Even though last week brought us blockbuster cases about guns and abortions, there are still lots of consequential opinions getting overlooked. Leah, Kate, and Melissa break them down-- after a few more thoughts about Dobbs [5:32]. Plus, Melissa gets to finally flex her British Royals Brain in the court cult...

    Mark as Played
    June 24, 2022 65 min

    Today the Supreme Court issued their opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. It overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, meaning there is no longer constitutional protection for the right to an abortion. Melissa, Leah, and Kate recap the horrific opinion by Justice Alito and the somehow-worse concurrence by Justice Thomas, and also read some passages straight from the dissent.

    You’re angry. We’re a...

    Mark as Played
    June 24, 2022 70 min

    Today the Supreme Court released its opinion in NYSRPA v. Bruen, saying that the constitutional right to carry a gun extends beyond the home. Kate, Leah, and Melissa break down the opinion and what it means for the future of gun regulations and states' rights.

    Mark as Played
    June 20, 2022 68 min

    The Supreme Court handed down 11 opinions last week-- 18 more to go. Leah and Melissa recap the outcomes, and then turn to our weekly "Ginni Tonic" segment, because there's always something new there.

    Mark as Played
    June 16, 2022 73 min

    It's a special Pride episode of Strict Scrutiny! Special guests Joshua Matz and Chase Strangio join Melissa, Kate, and Leah to highlight developments and ongoing litigation around LGBTQ rights.

    This year, Crooked Media’s Pride fund is supporting three incredible organizations that provide community building, gender affirming, and life saving resources to the queer and transgender community. Visit crooked.com/pridefund to donate ...

    Mark as Played

    Popular Podcasts

      If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

      Bone Valley

      Bone Valley is a 9-episode true crime podcast. New episodes are available for free every Wednesday. In 1987, 18-year-old Michelle Schofield was found dead in a phosphate pit in Florida. Two years later, her husband Leo was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Fifteen years later, previously unidentified fingerprints matched Jeremy Scott--a violent teenager who lived nearby. Jeremy has since confessed to Michelle’s murder. Yet Leo Schofield remains behind bars. In this groundbreaking podcast, Bone Valley host Gilbert King uncovers startling new evidence that Jeremy is responsible for a string of murders. King is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Devil in the Grove, which led to the exonerations of four innocent men. Bone Valley is a production of Lava for Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1.

      All There Is with Anderson Cooper

      Anderson Cooper takes us on a deeply personal exploration of loss and grief. He starts recording while packing up the apartment of his late mother Gloria Vanderbilt. Going through her journals and keepsakes, as well as things left behind by his father and brother, Cooper begins a series of emotional and moving conversations about the people we lose, the things they leave behind, and how to live on - with loss, with laughter, and with love.

      Dateline NBC

      Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

      Stuff You Should Know

      If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    Advertise With Us

    For You

      Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

      Connect

      © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.