Opening Arguments

By Thomas Smith and Andrew Torrez

SHOW DESCRIPTION

The most fascinating law podcast out there!


5.0

1,048 ratings


EPISODES LIST
03.22.2019
03.19.2019
03.15.2019
03.12.2019
03.08.2019
03.05.2019
03.03.2019
03.01.2019
02.26.2019
02.22.2019
02.19.2019
02.15.2019
02.12.2019
02.10.2019
02.08.2019
02.05.2019
02.01.2019
01.29.2019
01.25.2019
01.22.2019
01.18.2019
01.15.2019
01.11.2019

OA242: Larry Klayman is Still Crazy After All These Years

Today's episode features a deep dive into the Bivens action, with a little help from everyone's favorite nutso conspiracy theorist lawyer, Larry Klayman -- and his newest client, Roger Stone sidekick Jerome Corsi.  Find out what sorts of wacky shenanigans these guys have been up to, and why they think they've hit a $350 million jackpot.  (Hint:  they haven't.) First, though, we begin with an insightful question from a listener regarding Clarence Thomas's jurisprudence and whether the frequent criticism of Justice Thomas as lazy is tinged with racism. During the main segment, it's time for the breakdown of the latest Corsi lawsuit.  It's a doozy -- it's everything you'd expect from someone who hired Larry Klayman (on purpose!) to be his lawyer. Then, we answer a fun listener question about court filings, time zones, and the international date line.  It's Around Opening Arguments In 80 Days! After all that, it's time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #108 regarding civil procedure.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links This Vice article collects some of the strangest facts about Clarence Thomas, and this is the Jeff Jacoby op-ed that (factually) reports regarding Thurgood Marshall's declining years and -- in Andrew's opinion -- was misrepresented by Corey Robin. Click here to read Corsi's lawsuit against Robert Mueller, and here to read Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S. Ct. 1843 (2017), the recent Supreme Court case limiting Bivens actions. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

01.08.2019
01.04.2019

OA240: Libertarianism is Still Bad & You Should Still Feel Bad

Today's special, hangover-free New Years' episode follows up on some of the things we discussed during our Episode 238 interview with Matt Donnelly of the Ice Cream Social podcast, including the never-controversial subject of libertarianism.  Strap in; it's been an interesting year! We begin with a listener question from Ricardo, who asks some follow-up questions to our original hot take on libertarianism waaaaaay back in Episode 22.  Is there a robust theory of property rights that serves as a side-constraint on government action?  You'll have to listen and find out!  (Hint:  no.) After that, Andrew further explains the "Are You A Cop?"-style segment from Episode 238 regarding whether Brett Kavanaugh "voted with the liberals" in an abortion case.  (Hint:  no.)  You'll figure out all you need to know about the Supreme Court's denial of certiorari in Gee v. Planned Parenthood and Andersen v. Planned Parenthood... as well as getting a deep dive into Clarence Thomas's dissent and an explainer on the Medicaid Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a! After all that, it's time for the answer to Thomas (and Matt) Take The Bar Exam #107 regarding defamation.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Check out Matt & Mattingly's Ice Cream Social podcast! We first discussed libertarianism back in Episode 22. You can click here to read Clarence Thomas's blistering (and inaccurate) dissent from the Court's denial of cert in the Planned Parenthood cases; click here to check out 42 USC § 1396a(a)(23), the statute at issue; and click here to read the Washington Examiner article discussed on the show. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

01.01.2019

OA239: The Fourth Circuit's Puzzling Emoluments Ruling

Today's episode takes a deep dive into the just-released one-page order by the Fourth Circuit staying all discovery in the Emoluments litigation brought by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.  How do we fill more than an hour's worth of time on one page?  Why is this ruling really, really bad for everyone??  Listen and find out! We begin, however, with a brief foray up Yodel Mountain to discuss (1) the reports circulating that Michael Cohen's phone was in Prague in the summer of 2016, and (2) the ethics review of "Acting" Attorney General Matthew Whitaker concerning the Mueller probe. After that, it's time for a deep dive into the Emoluments litigation, the strange procedural posture of Trump's response, and what this means for civil litigation generally (and this case in particular).  You won't want to miss it! Then we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #107 on defamation.  As always, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Click here to read the Whitaker ethics review letter, and here to read the Steele dossier. We last discussed the Emoluments litigation in Episode 226. You can check out all of these documents:  the Fourth Circuit's order, the motion to stay, and the opposition filed by Frosh. Trump's argument is based on 28 USC § 1292(b) and relies on Fernandez-Roque v. Smith, 671 F.2d 426 (11th Cir. 1982). Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

12.28.2018
12.25.2018

OA237: Lowering the... Barr (Memo)

Today's Rapid Response episode takes a look at the just-released Law'd Awful Memo written by Attorney General nominee Bill Barr and sent to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein concerning the Mueller investigation.  Are the argument(s) raised in the memo any good?  What does this mean for the future of the Mueller investigation?  Listen and find out! We begin, however, with a brief foray into everyone's favorite show topic:  BASEBALL LAW!  Find out about the agreement reached between MLB and Cuba, and how (of course) Donald Trump can screw it up. After that, it's time for an Andrew Was Wrong (and Maybe Not Wrong) on David Pecker and AMI.  Along the way, we'll learn about the corruption case against Sun-Diamond Growers in connection with former Agriculture Secretary (and nearly-Senator) Mike Espy. Then, we delve deeply into the Barr memo, taking apart the legal "arguments" and featuring a guest appearance from one Antonin Scalia! Then, it's time to tackle the rather surprising decision by Judge Sullivan in the Michael Flynn sentencing phase.  What happened?  Did he go off the rails? After all that, we end with an all new Thomas (and Matt!) Takes The Bar Exam #106 on how to best transport heroin from Kansas City to Chicago and what the judge can instruct the jury... it's complicated, but you won't want to miss it!  And, as always, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Check out Matt & Mattingly's Ice Cream Social podcast! Baseball law:  Here's the press release from MLB. We discussed U.S. v. Sun-Diamond Growers of Calfornia, 138 F.3d 961 (D.C. Cir. 1998), aff'd, 526 U.S. 398 (1999). Don't forget to read the Barr memo for yourself, and you can also check out the Wall Street Journal article that leaked it. ...And here's our good buddy Antonin Scalia smacking down the logic used therein. You can check out the government's sentencing memorandum in Michael Flynn's case as well as the memo filed by Covington & Burling on Flynn's behalf. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  [podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/8001044/height/360/theme/standard/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/direction/forward/" height="360" width="100%" placement="bottom" theme="standard"] Download Link

12.21.2018

OA236: Stairway to... the Supreme Court??

Today's deep-dive Tuesday tackles a long-running lawsuit by the estate of Randy California -- the founder, lead singer, and guitarist for the band Spirit -- alleging that Led Zeppelin stole the iconic riff for "Stairway to Heaven" from Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus."  With assistance from Thomas on guitar, we tackle all of the fun issues that are currently pending before the 9th Circuit... and possibly headed to the Supreme Court! We begin, however, with two follow-up questions that got cut from Friday's blockbuster show regarding the American Media, Inc. plea agreement:  (1) Could David Pecker still be indicted? and the big one:  (2) Can Donald Trump pardon a corporation?  The answer... may surprise you! After that, it's time for a deep dive into the law regarding musical copyright and an exploration of the similarities and differences between "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven."  Where do Andrew and Thomas come out?  You'll have to listen to find out! After that, it's time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #105 regarding a bank and a car dealership attempting to modify a contract.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links We discussed the AMI deal in Episode 235. You can check out Spirit's "Taurus" by clicking here. Click here to read the original (and awesome!) Randy California v. Led Zeppelin complaint; you can also read (1) the jury verdict by the trial court; (2) the brief filed by Taurus in the 9th Circuit; (3) the opposition brief filed by Led Zeppelin; (4) the 9th Circuit's ruling; (5) the petition for rehearing en banc filed by Led Zeppelin; (6) the opposition to that motion for rehearing en banc; and (7) the just-filed reply brief by Led Zeppelin (filed 12-10-08).  Phew! Finally, click here for a mashup of "My Sweet Lord" (George Harrison) and "He's So Fine" (The Chiffons). Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

12.18.2018

OA235: Corporations Are People, My Friend... Criminal People

Today's Rapid Response episode takes a look at three breaking stories related to the White House:  (1) the recent ruling requiring Stormy Daniels to pay Trump's attorneys' fees; (2) the sentencing of Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen; and (3) most importantly, the plea deal signed by American Media, Inc. -- parent company to the National Enquirer -- to cooperate with the Special Counsel's Office. We begin by revisiting the question of whether, in fact, Stormy Daniels is still a legal genius.  (Hint:  she is.)  But what does it mean that a court just ordered her to pay Trump nearly $300,000 -- and why could it have been much, much worse?  Listen and find out. After that, we check out Trump's ex-"fixer" and the former Taxi King of New York, Michael Cohen, who was just sentenced to three years in prison. Then it's time for a fascinating look into a non-prosecution agreement reached between the Special Counsel's Office and American Media, Inc. that tell us an awful lot about where Yodel Mountain is headed. Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #105 on modifications to a contract.  As always, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Here's the merits ruling defamation we referenced during the show; you can also check out Trump's motion for attorneys' fees, Avenatti's (rather weak) opposition brief, and the court's ruling directing Stormy to pay almost $300,000. And because it never ends, check out the mediation questionnaire filled out by Avenatti for their appeal to the 9th Circuit. You know you want to read the press release regarding Michael Cohen's sentence; after that, you can check out the sentencing memoranda filed by the SCO's office ("good cop") as well as the brief filed by the SDNY ("bad cop"). Finally, this is the AMI agreeement as well as the DOJ guidelines on prosecuting corporations. Oh, and just for fun, here's Jose Canseco's audition to be Trump's Chief of Staff.  #YesWeCanseco Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

12.14.2018

OA234: Civil Forfeiture, Berkeley & More!

Today's deep-dive Tuesday tackles a viral oral argument before the Supreme Court in Timbs v. Indiana regarding civil forfeiture -- and a delightful question (that inspired the graphic for the show notes) about whether the state can seize your Bugatti for speeding.  Oh, and we check back in on the Ann Coulter v. Berkeley lawsuit that was recently settled.  What happened?  Listen and find out! We begin with the Berkeley settlement, and break down exactly what the University did (and didn't) promise to do going forward.  Is this a "big win" for the right wing?  (Hint: no.) Then, it's time to delve deeply into Timbs v. Indiana and discuss the law of civil asset forfeiture, the doctrine of proportionality, and even the concept of incorporation.  Yes, it's a crazy Civ Pro kinda day.. you won't want to miss it! Then, it's time for a BRAND NEW SEGMENT -- "Yodel Mountain Remembers!"  We think you're gonna love it! Oh, and we also tackle a terrific listener question about the "apology doctrine" and the nation that made apologies famous -- Canada (of course). After all that, it's time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #104 regarding government action and the warrant requirement of the Fifth Amendment.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Click here to read the Berkeley settlement. This is a link to the oral argument in Timbs v. Indiana. Finally, you can check out Maryland's "apology law," Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, § 10-920(b), by clicking here. This is the delightfully demented Corsi lawsuit against Mueller, Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

12.11.2018

OA233: [REDACTED] & Wisconsin

Today's Rapid Response episode takes a look at two pressing issues: (1) Mueller's [REDACTED] sentencing memorandum with respect to Michael Flynn, and (2) the naked power grab by lame-duck Republicans in Wisconsin.  Along the way, we'll also cover a bunch more legal stories, but you knew that already! We begin high atop Yodel Mountain, where we cover not only the [REDACTED] Flynn memorandum but also Roger Stone taking 5 and a truly bizarre conspiracy theory advanced by Rudy Giuliani. Then, it's time for the main segment, in which we tackle Wisconsin SB 887 and its component bills that are designed to weaken drastically the strength of the incoming Democratic governor, Tony Evers.  Is it as bad as everyone says it is?  (It's worse.) After that, it's time for a brief Andrew Was Wrong segment.  Turns out Andrew Was Wrong about both Julian Assange and American paddlefish! Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #102 on evidence and the admissibility of hearsay.  Find out how Thomas outsources the decision and more.  And, of course, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances Andrew was recently a guest on the David Pakman show talking court-packing and more.  Give it a listen!  And, as always, if you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links You can read the (non-censored) baseline Sentencing Memorandum filed by Mueller here, and the [REDACTED] Supplemental by clicking here. Here are the texts of the various Wisconsin bills:  SB 884, SB 886, and the final bill, SB 887. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

12.07.2018

OA232: Trump's Plan to Weaponize the Census (& Bridgegate!)

Today's deep-dive Tuesday takes us back to a time in which politically-motivated revenge was actually seen as a scandal; namely, Chris Christie's Bridgegate.  There's a new ruling out of the Third Circuit that affects two Christie staffers, and... well, you'll just have to listen and find out! Then, it's time to take a long look at ongoing litigation surrounding the Trump Administration's efforts to deter Democrats from registering for the Census, thus reducing their voting power.  What does a trial in district court have to do with the Supreme Court's recent grant of certiorari? After that, we answer a terrific Patron listener question regarding the European loser-pays-legal fees model versus the American pay-your-own-way model.  Yes, the American model seems counter-intuitive at best (and downright regressive at worst), but is shifting to a loser-pays model the answer?  Andrew talks about his experiences and the guys go through a bunch of options. And finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #103 on the Takings Clause!  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances Andrew was recently a guest on the David Pakman show talking court-packing and more.  Give it a listen!  And, as always, if you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links You can read the 3rd Circuit's opinion in Bridgegate by clicking here. Click here to read the Court's order in the Census litigation, which shows that Thomas-Alito-Gorsuch would have granted a stay. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

12.04.2018
11.30.2018

OA230: TOO MUCH MEAT!

Today's deep-dive Tuesday tackles that viral case caption you've probably seen floating around Twitter:  "United States v. 1,855.6 pounds of American Paddlefish Meat."  Is the sack of fish meat really going to have to show up in court?  Will it have a lawyer??!?  Listen and find out! We begin, however, with a roundup of all the lawsuits filed against Matthew Whitaker, including the most recent one brought by Senators Blumenthal and Hirono.  Oh, and we check with an op-ed written by... the Torture Guy?  What's going on here?? The main segment delves into in rem jurisdiction in order to explain the "paddlefish meat" caption.  If you like legal minutiae -- and let's be honest, you're listening to this podcast -- you'll love this segment. Then, it's time for a truly great listener question holding Andrew's feet to the fire on Net Neutrality and the Munsingwear doctrine.  It's not an Andrew Was Wrong, but it is an... Andrew Could Have Explained That Better?  Either way, you won't want to miss it. Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #102 on hearsay.  Find out if Thomas's coin can pass the bar exam!  And as always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Click here to check out Lawfareblog's clearing house for Whitaker complaints, and click here to read John Yoo's (surprising) op-ed arguing that Whitaker's appointment was illegal. If you want to read the actual meat filing, click here. Special shout-out to law professor Brian L. Frye for tipping us off to United States v. 43 1/2 Gross Rubber Prophylactics! Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

11.27.2018

OA229: Andrew Miller & the Appointments Clause

Today's Thanksgiving Special / Rapid Response episode takes a look at the single most important Yodel Mountain case pending right now:  Andrew Miller's lawsuit before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Find out what it all means! We begin, however, with a brief Andrew Was Right and roundup on the status of the Jim Acosta lawsuit, which has been mooted thanks to the injunctive relief won by CNN (and the White House's decision to restore Acosta's credentials). Then, it's time for the deep dive into Andrew Miller and his Don Quixote-esque foray into our legal system to challenge Robert Mueller's authority.  Along the way you'll find out who Andrew's Shattered Glass doppelganger is, and learn more than you ever thought possible about the U.S. Constitution's "Appointments Clause." Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #102 on evidence and the admissibility of hearsay.  Find out how Thomas outsources the decision and more.  And, of course, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links The "recalcitrant witness" statute is 28 U.S.C.  § 1826. Click here to read Judge Howell's U.S.D.C. trial court opinion. We pulled a ton of documents for you in the Miller case, including (a) Concord's motion to intervene; (b) Concord's amicus brief on the merits; (c) the eminently silly Sibley amicus brief; (d) Robert Mueller's merits brief; (e) Andrew Miller's merits brief; (f) Andrew Miller's supplemental brief; and (g) Rober Mueller's supplemental brief.  Phew! Don't be afraid to check out In Re Sealed Case, 829 F.2d 50 (D.C. Cir. 1987) for the case that's directly on point. Finally, you can read the "nearly a heart attack" regs on Mueller's funding (28 CFR § 600.8(a)(2)) here. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

11.22.2018

OA228: Jim Acosta, Sovereign Immunity & More!

Today's Deep Dive Tuesday tackles the motion for preliminary injunction and underlying lawsuit brought by CNN and Jim Acosta against the Trump White House for revoking his press credentials.  You'll get to hear about how Andrew Was Right... last Thursday (!)  As a bonus, you'll get a listener question that segues into a mini-deep-dive on the "sovereign immunity" doctrine! We begin, however, with some initial information about the still-sketchy situation surrounding Michael Avenatti and his arrest for domestic violence. After that, it's time to traipse through the CNN/Acosta lawsuit, which is still relevant today (even though the PI was, as Andrew predicted, granted). Then, it's time to answer a really interesting listener question about Oklahoma's new anti-vax governor that winds up with a discussion of the sovereign immunity doctrine.  It's a rabbit trail you'll want to go down! Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #101 on SPACE LAW.  Find out Lando's (and Thomas's!) fate! Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links On Avenatti, you can see the "SurefireIntel" tweet here. You can read the Acosta/CNN underlying complaint, the accompanying memorandum of law supporting the Acosta TRO motion, and the Trump response. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

11.20.2018

OA227: Brian Frosh Takes On Matthew Whitaker & More!

Today's Rapid Response Friday takes a deep dive into the recent lawsuit filed (actually, amended) by Maryland's ace Attorney General, Brian Frosh, challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. We begin, however, with an Andrew Was Right (and Wrong, sadly) roundup of a bunch of issues:  (1) whether the midterm elections were a "Blue Wave" (they were); (2) the formation of a new breakaway conservative legal group; (3) Jeff Flake's efforts to protect Robert Mueller; (4) Whitaker's recusal status; and (5) the election of Kyrsten Sinema to the U.S. Senate in Arizona.  Phew! After that, it's time for the deep dive into Maryland's ACA lawsuit that.. somehow morphed into a judicial request to determine that Matthew Whitaker cannot be the Attorney General?  How is that even possible??  We explain it all... and along the way, we let you know what arguments the State of Maryland has raised that the next Attorney General should be Rod Rosenstein instead.  It's a fascinating lawsuit, and you'll even get a brief discussion of the "canon of constitutional avoidance." (!!) After that, we (briefly) discuss the California wildfires in light of.. SEC disclosure requirements??!?  Hey, that's why you listen, right? Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #101 on SPACE LAW, involving deadbeat Ewoks and Lando Calrissian.  (No, really.)  You'll have to listen and find out!  And, of course, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Click here to read 538's "Yes, It Was a Blue Wave" article. Here is the announcement of the formation of the "Checks and Balances" legal society. Lawfare has filed a FOIA request for all documentation regarding Whitaker's ethics advice and potential recusal. Click here to read Maryland's motion for preliminary injunction; here to read the Flood memorandum that contains Trump's likely responses; and here to read the court's scheduling order. Finally, click here to read the SEC's guidelines on when to file a form 8-K, and here to read the 8-K filed by PG&E;. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

11.16.2018
11.13.2018
11.09.2018
11.06.2018
11.02.2018
10.30.2018
10.26.2018
10.23.2018

OA219: Harvard and Affirmative Action

Today's Rapid Response Friday takes us to the front lines of the affirmative action debate with the trial of Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard, a lawsuit brought by a single-issue right-wing activist determined to end diversity as a criterion in school admissions.  (And yes, we tell you what we really think!) We begin, however, with some news regarding the Monsanto trial we profiled back in Episode 202. After that, it's time for a deep dive into the nuances of affirmative action with the SFFA v. Harvard lawsuit.  What exactly does it allege?  What's the status of affirmative action law?  Where is this lawsuit going?  Listen and find out! Then it's time for a brief Andrew Was segment, in which Andrew Was Wrong about the UK Supreme Court, and Andrew Was... Something... about the good news coming out of the Florida Supreme Court. Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #98 regarding constitutional standards.  Thomas needs to go 2-for-3 after a recent audit showed a bank error in his favor.  Can he do it?  You'll have to listen and find out!  And, of course, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links We first covered the Monsanto trial back in Episode 202; go check it out! Click here to read the Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard lawsuit. To understand the history of affirmative action, listen to our Episode 93, and check out both Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) and Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), the cases we discussed in the episode. I mentioned the Etzkowitz et al. article on critical mass; you can read that here. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

10.19.2018

OA218: Ashers Baking Co., Net Neutrality & Stormy!

Today's (thankfully) Kavanaugh-free episode -- in honor of Thomas's appearance at QED in Manchester -- takes an in-depth look at the Ashers Baking Co. case, as well as developments at the state level to push for Net Neutrality.  Oh, and we revisit OA's favorite legal genius, Stormy Daniels.  Strap in, it's going to be a fun ride! We begin with a lengthy discussion of the UK Supreme Court's ruling in Ashers Baking Co., which has been called the "Masterpiece Cakeshop of the UK."  Is that accurate?  Listen and find out! Next, we walk through California's effort to protect Net Neutrality in that state, and the lawsuits filed by parties on all sides.  What's going to happen?  We tell you! Finally, we take a brief look at Stormy Daniels and update you on the status of her lawsuit in California. And then, of course, we end with an all new Thomas (and Chad) Take The Bar Exam #97 regarding the tort of negligent misrepresentation.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Recent Appearances None!  If you'd like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com. Show Notes & Links Click here to read the UK Supreme Court's ruling in Ashers Baking Co. We first discussed the Trump FCC's decision to roll back Net Neutrality in Episode 125.  You can read the 22-state lawsuit challenging that order here. This is California's Bill SB-822, and you can also check out the industry brief filed in the lawsuit challenging it.  Oh, and if you need more Hobbs Act (28 U.S.C. § 2342) in your life, we've got you covered. Finally, click here to check out Trump's motion to dismiss Stormy's lawsuit, and here to read her interview in "The Cut" (??) where she regrets body-shaming Trump. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

10.16.2018

OA217: Can Ethics Complaints Take Down Kavanaugh?

Today's Rapid Response Friday follows up on the State of Florida and... sadly... returns one last time to the story of Brett Kavanaugh and the ethics complaints lodged against him and referred to the Tenth Circuit.  Oh, and we give you real stuff you can do to make a positive difference!  You have to listen! We begin with a follow-up to Tuesday's episode where we break some news regarding the Democratic Party's lawsuit in Florida to extend registration for voting in the 2018 midterms before checking in on the Common Cause/League of Women Voters lawsuit we first discussed on Episode 216. Then it's time to tackle the ethics complaints filed against Brett Kavanaugh and referred out by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #97 regarding the tort of negligent misrepresentation.  Thomas needs to go 4-for-4... can he do it?  You'll have to listen and find out!  And, of course, if you'd like to play along with us, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We'll release the answer on next Tuesday's episode along with our favorite entry! Appearances Thomas will be at QED in Manchester, UK on Oct. 13 and 14. Show Notes & Links This episode is sponsored by Audible!  Go to audible.com/lawpod or text lawpod to 500500 for the 30-day trial and free audiobook! Click here to read the court's denial of the TRO filed by the Democratic Party's in Florida to extend registration for voting in the 2018 midterms. And click here to read the newly-filed Common Cause/League of Women Voters lawsuit we first discussed on Episode 216. We first discussed the Code of Judicial Ethics on Episode 193. This is the Roberts letter referring the Kavanaugh complaints to the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Click here to read the Rules of Judicial Conduct and Judicial Disability, with proposed changes. The law we discussed is 28 U.S.C. § 351 et seq. WHAT YOU CAN DO!  Click here to comment on the proposed changes to the Rules of Judicial Conduct and Judicial Disability. And if you want to apply to work for Fix The Court, check out their notice here. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

10.12.2018

OA216: Court Packing & More (w/guest Chad Schneider)

Today's (thankfully) Kavanaugh-free episode takes a look at Florida Governor Rick Scott's blatant court packing attempt with the Florida Supreme Court, and the lawsuit filed by Common Cause to try and stop him.  What will happen?  Listen and find out! First, though, we begin by revisiting our controversial episode (197) on 3-D printed guns by bringing on a real-life expert in 3-D printing to handle some technical questions and understand the arguments and counter-arguments regarding the proliferation of cheap and dangerous handguns. After that, we delve into Florida Gov. Rick Scott's transparent attempt to game the system to pack the Florida Supreme Court.  What does this mean for "Constitutional Hardball" and the state of the law in Florida?  Listen and find out! Then, we give you a brief preview of next week's story on California's net neutrality law. Finally, we end with an all new Thomas (and Chad) Take The Bar Exam #96 regarding the breach of an employment contract.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Recent Appearances Thomas will be at QED in Manchester, UK on Oct. 13 and 14. Show Notes & Links We first discussed 3-D printed guns back in Episode 197. Click here to read the Slate article on Scott's effort to pack the Florida Supreme Court, and you can also read the 2017 lawsuit filed by Common Cause (and others) that was rejected by the Florida Supreme Court. Check out guest Chad Schneider's business, Root3 Labs. Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/ Don't forget the OA Facebook Community! For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki And email us at openarguments@gmail.com  

10.09.2018
Opening Arguments Podcast

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OA263: Nielsen v. Preap and...

03.22.2019

Today's breaking news episode contains your guide to the hotly-debated Supreme Court decision in Nielsen v. Preap, regarding how and whether aliens can be detained without due process.