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Advisory Opinions

Author: The Dispatch

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Advisory Opinions is a new podcast from The Dispatch. Hosts David French and Sarah Isgur have a weekly conversation about the law, culture, and why it matters.

453 Episodes
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The Assassination Attempt

The Assassination Attempt

2024-07-1501:00:43

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David French discuss the assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump during a Pennsylvania rally over the weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
‘Who Has the Pen?’

‘Who Has the Pen?’

2024-07-1201:10:121

Could Joe Biden sue a faithless delegate? Would Brown v. Board exist if a supermajority had opposed integration? Is the next generation of lawyers doomed? In a special live recording at the American Enterprise Institute, Sarah and David contemplate a series of worst-case hypotheticals and answer audience questions. Bonus: originalist David French (somewhat) defends the Warren Court. Agenda: —Bound, free, and faithless DNC delegates —How the 12th Amendment could cause a 13th-hour, three-way race for president —What the 25th Amendment might mean for Vice President Kamala Harris —The legitimacy of a counter-majoritarian Supreme Court —SCOTUS as a lagging indicator —The fairness problem of the “Stolen Seat” —Common-good constitutionalism, originalism, and the battle for the legal right —Expertise and the elites Show Notes: —Brown v. Board of Education —Plessy v. Ferguson —Advisory Opinions’ “Chevron is Dead, Long Live Chevron” —The Dispatch’s fact-check of Project 2025 —Gallup & Pew’s SCOTUS polling —New York Times: “Donors to Pro-Biden Super PAC Are Said to Withhold Roughly $90 Million” —Bostock v. Clayton County —Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt —June Medical v. Russo —Buck v. Bell —The Atlantic: “How Liberal College Campuses Benefit Conservative Students” —Kamala Harris’ viral “coconut tree” moment Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kannon Shanmugam and his summer associates return to Advisory Opinions to look back on the SCOTUS term and discuss the state of “text, history, and tradition.” The Agenda: —Big themes from this SCOTUS term —Was this the administrative law term? —Should we stop thinking about SCOTUS “terms”? —The health of the First Amendment —“The media now owns Amy Coney Barrett” —Justice Thomas’ dissent in Rahimi —Sarah’s summary of this term —Questions from summer associates Show Notes: —Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo —Moody v. NetChoice —FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine —National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo —SEC v. Jarkesy —Trump v. Anderson —Trump v. United States —United States v. Rahimi —New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen —Justice Samuel Alito’s WSJ op-ed —Sarah’s 3-3-3 theory —Christian Laettner’s shot against Kentucky Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Winning Without Winning

Winning Without Winning

2024-07-0401:52:542

On today’s super-mega-extravagant episode, Sarah and David celebrate America’s birthday by gifting everyone a magnificently long podcast. First on the docket: more analysis of the SCOTUS immunity decision. The Agenda: —Facial challenges in Moody v. NetChoice —Welcome, Father of the Pod —Should prosecutors be totally immune? —No more bad science! —Ongoing debate over Section 230 —Romney: Corporations are people too! —Donald Trump’s Florida and Georgia cases —Is the pod over yet? Nope! —Dred Scott vibes Show Notes: —Husband of the Pod’s Wall Street Journal op-ed Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sarah and David break down the Supreme Court decision in Trump v. United States. The Agenda: —Unanimous decision on Moody v. NetChoice —SCOTUS stat pack —Three buckets of immunity —Immunity takeaways: yes, no, and maybe —Presidential immunity and accountability —The role of the electorate in holding presidents accountable —Does the Constitution prevent despots and tyrants? Show Notes: —David's NYT op-ed on SCOTUS and the pro-life movement Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We're not talking about Trump and Biden, but we are discussing something that could make double-hater voters less worried about the future of presidents and executive power: the final stake through the Chevron doctrine. The Agenda: —Chevron is overruled —Jarkesy decision —How "old think" plays out in the two above decisions —Sarah's offended by Sotomayor —The non-Trump January 6 case —Are homeless people being targeted by SCOTUS? No Show Notes: —Nick Kristof's piece for the Times —Ohio v. Environmental Protection Agency —Moyle v. United States Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sarah and David return for a truly prolific episode covering another SCOTUS decision day and revisit where they stand on originalism and its faults. The Agenda: —Doctrine coded vs. culture-war coded —Did the government coerce social media companies in 2020? —David, you ignorant slut —Interpreting “corruptly” —The accidental release of Idaho abortion case —Is SCOTUS strategic in its opinion release schedule? —The problems with originalism —Trump immunity case delay Show Notes: —National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo —Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan —Lawrence Solum’s law review article on originalism Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In a special live recording from San Francisco in late May, Sarah interviewed former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer about his judicial philosophy, the future of the court, and accepting dissent in America. The Agenda: — How snails explain the Supreme Court — To recuse or to not recuse? — The Court’s public approval and its response to public approval — Rule of law — Unenumerated rights — Humor in the Court — Audience questions Show Notes: — Stephen Breyer’s Reading the Constitution — The Education of Henry Adams — Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence — Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House — Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.: The “Angry cheerleader” SCOTUS case — Brown v. Board of Education & The Little Rock School Integration Crisis — District of Columbia v. Heller — Poe v. Ullman Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Supreme Court has decided 8-1 in favor of the government in United States v. Rahimi. Sarah and David break down the decision before getting to a few sleeper cases from the day.The Agenda: —“Y’all misunderstood Bruen” —History is instructive, not binding —18th-century policy vs. 21st-century problems —The future of gun control —“Bad man stays in jail” doctrine —Trump’s SCOTUS nominees in a second term —“SCOTUS should have never taken Rahimi” —Sleeper cases Show Notes: —Sarah’s “bad man stays in jail” tweet —Chris Hayes’ tweet Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Awaiting a week full of emergency pods, Sarah and David discuss latest round of SCOTUS opinions and take a look at a religious expression case. The Agenda: —Your foreign earnings are taxable —Malicious prosecutions, do they fall under the charge-specific rule or any-crime rule? —The Fifth Circuit was wrong —Defining expert testimony —Louisiana's Ten Commandment's law Show Notes: —Georgia Tech sued over speech code —History of the Lemon test Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Living Anachronism

Living Anachronism

2024-06-1801:08:41

Sarah and David discuss how the media’s focus on outcomes ignores the Supreme Court’s complexity and restraint. Plus: tips for the lawyer ready to quit. The Agenda: —Bump stocks and executive overreach —Upcoming SCOTUS cases —Who’s the least powerful justice? —Hidden ideological diversity in SCOTUS —DOJ’s enforcement of the FACE Act —How to quit your law firm: tips on professional risk management Show Notes: —Vidal v. Elster —Empirical SCOTUS’ Power Index —Mifepristone case Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Consensus Court

The Consensus Court

2024-06-1401:20:50

David Lat takes over the guest chair and joins Sarah to discuss recent SCOTUS decisions. The Agenda: —SCOTUS bumps bump stock case to Congress —Lily Ledbetter and the last time Congress did their job —Mifepristone decision —Trump too small? Maybe, but you can’t trademark it —Justice Gorsuch and Justice Jackson’s playful relationship —NLRB and defending the administrative state —Justice Alito is secretly recorded —Young Thug’s messy court trial —Predicting SCOTUS decisions —Sentencing and appeals in the Hunter Biden saga Show Notes: —Peggy Noonan’s response to Alito-gate —David Lat and "underneath their robes" —The Mo News Podcast Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sarah and David discuss the laws of war in response to Israel’s successful hostage rescue operation in Gaza before turning to the latest First Amendment drama from the 1st Circuit. The Agenda: —Laws of war and the Israeli hostage rescue operation —Materially disruptive speech and t-shirts —Health check on the Constitution —Far-right says freedoms are under attack Show Notes: —David’s critique of Israel in the NYT —Angry cheerleader case —Justice Brennan opinion in 1970s book banning case —Tinker v. Des Moines —The Mo News Podcast Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The 3-3-3 Body Problem

The 3-3-3 Body Problem

2024-06-0701:06:56

No Rahimi decision yet … but Sarah and David have the next best thing: math! The two dive into Sarah’s recent POLITICO piece in which she and Dean Jens used data to analyze the Supreme Court. The Agenda: —The three-body problem —Was Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization radical? —Moneyballing the court —“Right to counsel” at the 9th Circuit —Racial discrimination in contracting —Test cases are test cases —Judge Newsom’s “unusual” concurrence —Judge Easterbrook on fonts —The health of the Constitution Show Notes: —Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum —Connelly v. United States —Becerra v. San Carlos Apache Tribe —National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo —Allen v. Milligan —New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen —Creative LLC v. Elenis —Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission —Chief Justice John Roberts’ thoughts on AI —Pacific Legal Foundation Advisory Opinions is a production of The Dispatch, a digital media company covering politics, policy, and culture from a non-partisan, conservative perspective. To access all of The Dispatch’s offerings—including Sarah’s Collision newsletter, weekly livestreams, and other members-only content—click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sarah and David detail Hunter Biden’s legal predicament and discuss the impact it will have on the political landscape. Is this coercive bargaining in action? The Agenda: —Food poisoning etiquette —Hunter Biden's federal case —Prosecuting Donald Trump —Abortion opinion out of Texas Supreme Court —Insights into the Supreme Court’s decision-making process —SCOTUS watch Show Notes: —Steve Calabresi for the Volokh Conspiracy —Sarah's piece for the New York Times Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Akhil Amar, Sterling Professor of Law at Yale University, joins Sarah and David to read between the lines of the Constitution to find and define unenumerated rights. Be sure to check out his books, America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By and The Words that Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840. And stick around after the interview for a brief Alito flag update. —Akhil Amar’s two-tier theory of jurisdictions —AO episode with Judge Newsom mentioning unenumerated rights —Ezra Klein's article on the Second Amendment —District of Columbia v. Heller —McDonald v. City of Chicago —New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen —Akhil Amar's podcast —NRA v. Vullo decision —Casey Mattox's tweet on NRA v. Vullo —SCOTUS clears the way for Louisiana to use a new congressional map Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In an emergency live dispatch, Sarah and David discuss the historic verdict in Trump's New York hush money case. Expect to hear sentencing expectations, appeal efforts, and how voters will reach. Show Notes: -Mike and Sarah’s Collision newsletter on the outcome of the case Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On Racial Redistricting

On Racial Redistricting

2024-05-2301:09:032

Sarah gives us a taste of her interview with retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer before she and David dive into the latest SCOTUS ruling on racial gerrymandering. The Agenda: —Justice Breyer and the Major Questions Doctrine —Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP —Conduct vs. speech and Morgan Wallen’s Nashville bar —Random swipes at text, history, and tradition from David —Approving a SCOTUS nominee from opposing parties? —Amending the amendment process —Codifying the judicial filibuster —Justice Samuel Alito flag watch Show Notes: —Previous AO episode on voting rights in Alabama —City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC —Equal Protection Clause —Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When to Recuse

When to Recuse

2024-05-2101:13:291

Is Justice Alito a secret election denier? Is his wife chronically online? Were these allegations the point of a New York Times article about hanging the American flag upside down? Or is this a nothingburger? Sarah and David discuss. The Agenda: —Appearances of impropriety —Husbands: What would you do if someone called your wife the C-word? —Asserting executive privilege over audio recordings —No, Zina Bash did not make a white power symbol —Nixon tapes and Biden’s interview —The opposite of a nationwide injuction —Tacos are sandwiches —Tacos are not sandwiches —David on how to deal with bullies Show Notes: —Results: ACLI Capital Challenge —Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Trump's taxes —Judge Stephen Reinhardt refuses to recuse in 9th Circuit case —"Trump faker" accusation —Hur/Biden transcripts —Akhil Amar: "Second Thoughts" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Do judges have an important role to play in society beyond judging? Judge Lee Rudofsky takes the affirmative, while Orin Kerr disagrees in this special AO episode debating this topic. Sarah and David also discuss the latest SCOTUS cases. Show Notes: —Judges write letter saying they won't hire law clerks from Columbia —Kerr: Do Judges "Have an Important Role to Play in Our Society" Beyond Judging? —Code of Conduct for United States Judges —Staying Off the Sidelines: Judges as Agents for Justice System Reform —Appearances by Sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices at Congressional Committee and Subcommittee Hearings (1960-2022) —Drops in Jewish enrollment in elite universities —CFPB v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited —Are tacos and burritos sandwiches? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (14)

STEVEN Ericson

Sarah I think you're incredible except when it comes to commenting about people's age and living through the dark ages of rotary phones. smiling obviously Steve 72😏😊🤗😎

Apr 24th
Reply

Chris L'Hommedieu

Israeli IDF is more cautious than the US military??? Are you freaking kidding me? This is the greatest destruction since WWII this is an utter BS "interview".

Apr 4th
Reply

ID19877237

David is the troll

Mar 9th
Reply (1)

Ellen Munter

No, Taylor states that she left her scarf and he kept it. Which isn't theft. And the song is only 10 minutes long. Just saying.

Feb 25th
Reply

Gail G

I would be interested to hear from David how individuals can support Ukraine.

Jun 13th
Reply

Golden boy

French the rhino. Pedophile enabler

Jun 27th
Reply

Douglas Fitch

Sarah, Try the BK chicken sandwich. Really one of the best.

Jun 8th
Reply

Andrew Xu

This podcast deserves more traction.

Feb 17th
Reply

Eliza Howarth

whoa. she is way out of line and totally illogical with her whataboutism re: Abrahms & saying it's identical to the Trump campaign to invalidate the national election

Dec 7th
Reply

EMMA GRAY

So boring.

Oct 24th
Reply

Michael Mount

Sarah Isgur is a moron.

Sep 17th
Reply (1)

Debi Simons

PLEASE, PLEASE. PLEASE, SARAH--STOP INTERRUPTING. Sorry about the all caps, but it drives me crazy. People don't interrupt you!

Jun 5th
Reply