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Strict Scrutiny

Author: Crooked Media

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Strict Scrutiny is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.

Hosted by three badass constitutional law professors-- Leah Litman, Kate Shaw, and Melissa Murray-- Strict Scrutiny provides in-depth, accessible, and irreverent analysis of the Supreme Court and its cases, culture, and personalities. Each week, Leah, Kate, and Melissa break down the latest headlines and biggest legal questions facing our country, emphasizing what it all means for our daily lives.

Whether you’re a lawyer or law student, or you’re just here for the messy legal drama, Strict Scrutiny has you covered. New episodes out every Monday… plus bonuses whenever SCOTUS takes away another one of our rights.
300 Episodes
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The gang is back together! Ahead of the Strict Scrutiny live show on Saturday in DC, Kate, Melissa and Leah comb through four decisions from the Court. Are these the cases everyone’s waiting for? Not quite, but they do involve repatriation taxes, malicious prosecution, federal rules of evidence, and retaliatory arrests.Read Leah's NYT OpEd: "Something’s Rotten About the Justices Taking So Long on Trump’s Immunity Case" Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Live from New York, it's Strict Scrutiny! Elie Mystal guest hosts with Kate and Melissa in front of a sold-out crowd at the Tribeca Festival to break down opinions, perform dramatic readings of the secret Alito recordings, and imagine some end-of-year yearbook pages for the justices. Plus, New York Magazine's Irin Carmon joins to talk about the practical effects of the Supreme Court's ruling in the mifepristone case.To watch the full episode, complete with Martha-ritas and yearbook superlatives, head to our YouTube channel Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
In an emergency episode, Leah and Melissa break down the Court's 6-3 decision to strike down a ban on bump stocks, attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at machine gun-like rates. It's bad, people. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Melissa and Kate talk to Molly Duane, lawyer from the Center for Reproductive Rights, about the disheartening outcome in the Zurawski case in Texas. Plus, they recap recent opinions in cases about bankruptcy, tax law, and health care on Native American reservations.To hear more about the Zurawski case, including the stories of the women who testified, listen to our episode "A Code of Misconduct" from  November 2023 Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Melissa and Kate recap the Supreme Court's latest opinions and catch up on the latest drama from the Alitos' flag-flying fiasco.We’re giving one lucky listener the chance to win a pair of tickets to our SOLD OUT show in DC on June 22nd.Here’s how to enter:Subscribe to Strict Scrutiny’s Youtube channelLeave a COMMENT on our most recent video episode with YOUR favorite Strict Scrutiny moment. [LINK MONDAY’S YT VIDEO HERE]The giveaway starts TODAY and ends June 7th at 11:59pm PT. We’ll be picking a winner on/around June 10th so be sure to keep an eye on your comment. For the full rules, check out the link here: http://crooked.com/strictgiveawaydc Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
TRUMP FOUND GUILTY!

TRUMP FOUND GUILTY!

2024-05-3157:333

A jury of Donald Trump's peers finds him guilty on all 34 counts in the Manhattan election interference trial. Melissa joins Pod Save America  to talk about next steps for sentencing and possible appeal. Plus, CNN Legal Analyst Norm Eisen shares what it was like in the courtroom when the verdict came down, and Jon and Dan talk about the political fallout and which voters the conviction might sway. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Time for Some Bad Decisions

Time for Some Bad Decisions

2024-05-2701:26:003

There are more red flags flying from House Alito! Plus, that same guy authored an opinion in a major voting discrimination case, and somehow it's worse than expected. Plus, Melissa and Kate talk with Shefali Luthra about her important new book, Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America.New merch alert!! Our new t-shirts and mugs are just thing for the hellscape to come in the final weeks of the SCOTUS term.Order Undue Burden at Bookshop.org and get 10% off Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Leah and Melissa catch up on the Alitos' upside-down flag situation, an opinion preserving the funding structure of the CFPB, and a racial gerrymandering case out of Texas.Read Jodi Kantor's reporting on the Alitos' flagRevisit our episode recapping the oral arguments in the case challenging the CFPBWe’re giving one lucky listener the chance to win a pair of tickets! Here’s how to enter:Subscribe to Strict Scrutiny’s Youtube channelLeave a comment on our most recent video episode with your favorite Strict Scrutiny moment.The giveaway starts TODAY and ends May 24 at 11:59pm PT. We’ll be picking a winner on/around 5/28 so be sure to keep an eye on your comment. For the full rules, check out the link here: https://crooked.com/strictgiveaway/ Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Victoria Wenger of NAACP-LDF joins Kate and Leah for an update on the four years of litigation trying to get fair voting maps for Louisiana residents. Then, a major update on a group of federal officials who plan to penalize a private institution for failing to censor certain speech-- you'll never guess who!If you would like to make a donation in honor of Brendan Jackson, Leah's student who recently passed away, you can do so at www.ruckercollierfoundation.com Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Melissa, Leah, and Kate recap oral arguments in cases about unhoused people, immigration, and Starbucks unions. Then, it's our second annual listener mailbag episode! What's the best way to fight against usage of the Comstock Act? Should liberals be using law suits to troll conservatives? Why don't the Democrat-appointed justices speak out about their colleagues' poor behavior? You asked, we answered!Strict Scrutiny will be live at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 13th! Tickets are on sale now. Learn more and get tickets at tribecafilm.com/strict Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Melissa, Leah, and Kate recap the oral arguments in the Idaho case about the legality of abortions in emergency situations, and the case about whether former President Trump is immune from prosecution in the federal election interference case arising out of January 6. It's all very bleak!In better news, Strict Scrutiny will be live at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 13th! Tickets go on sale Tuesday, April 30th, at 11am ET. Learn more and get tickets at tribecafilm.com/strict Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Melissa, Leah, and Kate recap oral arguments in cases about January 6, political corruption, malicious prosecution claims, and the right to counsel. They also break down a batch of decisions, and look ahead to how SCOTUS may address state bans on gender-affirming care.Read Professor Caitlin Millat's op ed in the Los Angeles Times: "As a pregnant law professor in Arizona, I fear the abortion ban" Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
In the next two weeks, SCOTUS will hear arguments in cases on political corruption, criminalizing houselessness, whether a state abortion ban can override a federal policy permitting abortion in emergency medical care, the statute under which most January 6th defendants were convicted-- and if that weren’t enough, Donald Trump’s request for immunity in the January 6th case against him. After previewing all these cases, Kate, Leah, and Melissa also provide updates on the total abortion ban and ballot initiative happening in Arizona, and the latest shenanigans out of the Fifth Circuit.Got a question for our upcoming mailbag episode? Submit it here! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Kate and Leah break down the latest court news with Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large for The 19th and host of The Amendment, including developments in abortion access in Florida and the discourse around whether Justice Sotomayor should retire. Then, Jill Habig of the Public Rights Project and Tyler Yarbro from the Tennessee Freedom Circle join Melissa, Kate, and Leah to talk about the latest conservative effort to control the courts: judicial gerrymandering.Listen to Melissa's interview with Errin on The Amendment, talking about the Trump indictmentsSubmit a question for our upcoming mailbag episode here! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Melissa, Kate, and Leah recap the oral arguments in the case challenging the FDA's approval of mifepristone, one of the drugs used in medication abortion. They also recap arguments in cases about the Armed Career Criminal Act and Indian Health Services, and give some updates on cases they're watching in the lower courts, ranging from immigration, to guns, to Title IX.Get your tickets to Strict Scrutiny Live HERE, or head to crooked.com/events for more info.ICYMI, we did a quick reaction episode on Tuesday right after the mifepristone case was argued  Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Leah, Melissa, and Kate give a quick take on the bottom line from the oral arguments in the medication abortion case that is currently unraveling in the Supreme Court. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Steve Vladeck joins Kate and Leah for the play-by-play of what happened with SB4, Texas's restrictive and extreme anti-immigration law that wound up on the U.S. Supreme Court's shadow docket. Kate and Leah also recap the oral arguments in cases about the First Amendment and social media, the NRA, and the types of evidence allowed in trials.Get your tickets to Strict Scrutiny Live HERE, or head to crooked.com/events for more info. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on two First Amendment cases that ask whether the REAL victims of government coercion today are… conservatives with fringe views! Leah, Melissa, and Kate preview those cases, along with the mifepristone case the Court will hear next week. Plus, they do a deep dive on how SCOTUS uses the shadow docket to clear the way for executions.Strict Scrutiny is headed back to DC for another live show! Presale starts 3/18 @ 12pm ET with the code SCRUTINY. Head to crooked.com/events for more info! --> Washington DC TicketsHere's the full episode in which we called pretty much the entire outcome of the Title X family planning program case in the Fifth CircuitICYMI, Melissa's book with Andrew Weissmann, The Trump Indictments: The Historic Charging Documents with Commentary, hit #1 on the New York Times' Bestseller List! If you haven't gotten your own copy, code STRICT10 will get you 10% off at Bookshop.org Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
Our very own Melissa Murray has a new book out with co-author Andrew Weissmann-- The Trump Indictments: The Historic Charging Documents with Commentary-- and it was an instant New York Times bestseller. Melissa and Andrew talk with Kate and Leah about the book and what they hope readers take from it. Plus, for a special court culture segment, Leah talks with Barb McQuade about her book, Attack from Within: How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America.Buy The Trump Indictments and Attack from Within from Bookshop.org-- code STRICT10 at checkout gets you 10% off! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
The Supreme Court released its opinion in Trump v. Anderson, saying Colorado and other states can't disqualify Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Kate, Melissa, and Leah break down the (expected) outcome, the (heinous) reasoning and what it means going forward. One guess as to which justice has BDUE (big Dolores Umbridge energy).Listen to our recap of the oral arguments in the episode "SCOTUS Has Their Own Theories About Trump's Eligibility" Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky
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Comments (89)

KK

"Scandalito" I laughed out loud.

Jun 19th
Reply

Pamela Deering

I'm curious why the fifth circuit is so constituted that there is only one federal judge. It seems an obviously suboptimal situation -- is there no way to change it? I had high hopes for the anti judge shopping rule change; should have known better I guess.

Jun 11th
Reply

Pamela Deering

I am stricken anew with all of your skills as hosts and podcast personalities. You seem like such wonderful people to be around and converse with. Your comments are succinct, germane and witty. Thank you for making my Monday evenings so erudite and fun.

Jun 4th
Reply

Scott Stock

I love this podcast so much, but it also saddens and angers me like no other. I find myself knowing that I have to listen to better understand the machinations of our court system, but it can yield some brutal truths.

Jun 2nd
Reply

Anthony Famularo

Maybe I just haven't kept up with trends, but when the fuck did horoscopes become popular again? When anybody mentions a "star sign," I have flashbacks to my grandmother reading the "Women's Pages" of the local newspaper in 1977.

May 20th
Reply

Pamela Deering

what if the president is a woman, and gets an abortion? is she immune from prosecution?

May 8th
Reply (2)

Pamela Deering

I concur. This would be a poor time for Justice Sotomayer to retire. As you said, we can't be sure it would produce the desired result at all. Republicans are perverse & evil enough to gleefully re-use the same bogus argument about election years from before, just to see our heads explode. Also, I think if she retired, it would sort of give this vague impression of giving up in the face of adversity.

Apr 9th
Reply

Pamela Deering

"Your Honor, emergency room physicians sometimes have to deal with patients who have gerbils stuck in their rectums.. I don't see why a mifepristone complication should be so traumatic."

Apr 2nd
Reply

Pamela Deering

I would really like to see someone revisit the fact that this law is entirely based on that which may be considered filthy, vile, immoral or indecent. (in the 1800s no less) I would like to see a serious attorney argue before the scotus, with a straight face, what specifically qualifies contraception as objectively immoral. Not sure it could be argued without resort to religion. In fact, I want an exact definition of immoral as well.

Mar 27th
Reply (1)

Pamela Deering

These people keep talking about "accepting the consequences" of having sex. For fifty years, we have mitigated the *potential* consequences of sex with birth control and the option of abortion. Pregnancy has not been an inevitable consequence of sex in all this time. Yet now we are supposed to suddenly accept it as a foregone conclusion, because they say so?

Mar 23rd
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Pamela Deering

Do we have a specific legal definition of what exactly constitutes "immoral"? Is there any basis to argue that immorality is a highly subjective term subject to change? Abortion is mentioned in the bible only insofar as a dubious recipe for same is given. Islam and Judaism do not forbid it. I would be curious to know on what a claim of immorality is founded.

Mar 19th
Reply

arron clinton

Thank you for going on the daily show. That's how I found This podcast

Feb 26th
Reply

Chris Smith

when will this new person get a name and a social security number? doesn't that happen at birth now? but if it should happen at conception, state laws will need to catch up including in Alabama right now. also, any man who does not stick around for a pregnancy should be charged with abandonment of a child, and any man or a spouse who abuses a pregnant woman should be charged with child endangerment and child abuse. and what about life insurance and health insurance for this person?

Feb 26th
Reply (1)

Pamela Deering

I just saw Kate and Melissa with Jon Stewart, a complete surprise as I didn't know beforehand. Such a delight to see you live (on youtube). It's a pity there was such a short time allotted; and Jon, I adore him, but he interrupts a lot haha oh well. Even just quick sound bites from you are edifying.

Feb 22nd
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Pamela Deering

The 14th amendment, where it holds that insurrectionists are forbidden from holding offices, is a "machine level" prohibition -- it is so clearly self-executing, it was never meant to be argued over, or to require an act of Congress. It is unequivocal. For the same reason no one 25 yrs of age has attempted to run for President - you can't do it. It's prohibited. It shouldn't even be up to one lone state to remind everybody; you just can't do it, it's against the rules.

Feb 13th
Reply

Pamela Deering

"it never rains in Southern California/seems I've often heard that kind of talk before/it never rains in California, but, girl, don't they warn ya/it pours, man it pours"

Feb 7th
Reply

malutty malu

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Feb 4th
Reply

Pamela Deering

oh. my. god. what an ugly, humiliating orgy of oligarch-adjacent jollity. These are some of the most disingenuous and preposterous excuses for genuine discourse I have yet heard from the Court. I can always respect people trying to get at truth, fairly, in good faith, even if I don't agree with them. This is not that.

Jan 23rd
Reply

Pamela Deering

haha great episode. your snark is the very best snark - intelligent, subtle and incontrovertible.

Jan 9th
Reply

Pamela Deering

This was a great episode! I'm really concerned about the chipping away of government agencies' authority to administer and adjudicate regulations in their respective areas of expertise. I would be interested in hearing more about it, and speculation on countering this kind of bad faith argument.

Jan 3rd
Reply