What the lack of legal representation in the civil courts can teach us about justice.
Let's Start with Race
Michele Goodwin on America’s defining issue, and on papering over the gaping holes in the constitution.
The End of an Era, and the Cult of the Constitu...
What we lost with the passing of Justice John Paul Stevens, and Mary Anne Franks on what we lose when we unquestioningly revere the nation’s founding document.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors
Frank Bowman on impeachment--its history and meaning, and whether it’s meant to be so hard.
Ready, Set, Gerrymander!
A round table round-up of the 2018 Supreme Court term with Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, Professor Pam Karlan of Stanford and Professor Leah Litman of the University of Michigan Law School. Analysis of the census case, the gerrymandering cases, and the down-docket items you might have missed, but whose repercussions you won’t.
Trumpcast: An Interview With E. Jean Carroll
Flowers, Crosses, Clauses and Oaths
Present-tense SCOTUS decision analysis that reaches all the way back to the Magna Carta for context.
Clarence Thomas Said What?
Adam Cohen on how the Supreme Court Justice picked up his thesis on eugenics, and ran with it, in the opposite direction.
“Slouching Toward Gilead”
Surveying legislative assaults on the right to choose, and what guides the chief justice’s thinking about abortion.
A Judge, on Judging
Federal Court Judge Robert Lasnik of the Western District of Washington on judicial self-governance, racial fairness in the courts and… Quoting Bob Dylan.
The Fight for LGBTQ Protections Under the Civil...
Extra: Redactionist History
A Mueller report rundown with former Department of Justice spokesperson Matt Miller and Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman
Death Penalty Dust-Ups at the High Court
The robes are on but the gloves are off when it comes to capital punishment.
Kavanaugh and Kagan Had a Moment
Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern unpack the arguments in the North Carolina and Maryland gerrymander cases heard by the Supreme Court this week, and Aaron Belkin of advocacy group Pack the Courts tells us why packing the courts is becoming a serious topic in the Democratic presidential race. Please let us know what you think of Amicus. Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook. Our email is email@example.com.
Lawyers are Tackling our Democracy Problem Via ...
Dahlia Lithwick pans back this week to assess what’s holding and what’s buckling in terms of norms and institutions, two years and change into the Trump presidency. She’s joined by Ian Bassin of Protect Democracy, a new kind of litigation shop looking at global trends toward authoritarianism and trying to resist those trends in the United States.
The Case Regarding the So-Called Emergency
Dahlia Lithwick is joined by conservative lawyer Stuart Gerson and finds common ground over the President’s declaration of a national emergency so he can build the wall. And Leah Litman helps us take a lawyerly look at Michael Cohen’s testimony before congress this week.
Parsing the Shadow Docket
What recent seemingly procedural SCOTUS decisions can tell us about substance.
Amicus Presents: The Pre-Crime Unit
What Did We Learn From The Trans Ban Injunction...
Lambda Legal’s Sharon McGowan on their setback at SCOTUS.
We’re Back to Where Mueller Began: Counterintel...
Yale’s Asha Rangappa takes us inside “the spy stuff.”
The Threat of National Emergency
Chief Justice John Roberts, a Rock, and a Hard ...
How will the chief justice reconcile his conservatism with his institutionalism in a divided court?
The Incrementalist RBG
A conversation with screenwriter Daniel Stiepelman on the biopic On the Basis of Sex, about his aunt, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Mapping the Mueller Investigation
Mimi Rocah draws a legal map of the Special Counsel’s investigation, dotted with “buckets of criminality”, plus inside the arguments about whether half of Oklahoma is an Indian Reservation.
A Hard Line on Acosta’s Hard Pass
The White House settled CNN’s suit, but big questions remain.
“Taking a Wrecking Ball to Our Constitution”
Is Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker even legal? And why the census citizenship question is so problematic.
SPECIAL: The Deadly Shooting at the Tree of Lif...
Docket Deep Dive and Is It Time to Freak Out Ab...
Reading tea leaves on the cases before the court this term and spilling the tea on where voting rights stand for the midterms.
Amicus Presents: Legal Wars
As Justice Kavanaugh takes his seat, Dahlia Lithwick takes stock with Senator Jeff Merkley and Matthew Yglesias.
Live from Austin
A legal all-star panel on Kavanaugh, the coming SCOTUS term, and the future of the court.
The Press, The President, and Enemy Construction
Law Professors Lisa Sun and RonNell Andersen Jones on morphing the media into enemies of the people.
Introducing Slate Day
SPECIAL: Surviving a School Shooting, From a Te...
SPECIAL: Surviving a School Shooting, From a Teacher's Point of View
Roe v Kavanaugh
Trump’s nominee is not super into precedent, it seems.
Back to School Protest Special
From armbands to Parkland, free speech rights inside the school gates.
Barbie, Bratz, and Who Owns Your Dreams?
The intellectual property battle about much more than plastic dolls.
A Taftian Antidote to Trumpian Excesses
The Scalia Factor
Rick Hasen on his book “The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption”
The Argument That Could Reclaim the Supreme Cou...
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on the frustrating process of vetting a new Supreme Court justice.
With Kennedy Gone, What’s on the Chopping Block?
Our annual look at the end of the Supreme Court term.
Voting: Purging, Packing, Cracking, Standing
Analysis of SCOTUS gerrymandering and voter purge decisions with Paul M Smith, who argued two of the cases.
Bonus: Live From the ACLU
A legal all-star panel with David Cole, Vanita Gupta, Joyce White Vance and Richard Painter.
Religious Belief, Sincerely Held
Examining the narrow slicing of the Masterpiece cake shop holding, and contemplating the role of faith in our laws.
The Impeachment Question
It’s a possibility, but should it be a goal?
The State of the State Attorneys General
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on gun safety wins, the resistance, and Eric Schneiderman
Travel Ban 3.0 and Rinsing off Religious Animus...
The Rule of Law and the Ethics of Poking the Bear
A slow motion constitutional crisis may be upon us. Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Lawfare blog editor and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Ben Wittes, to assess the threats to the rule of law posed by presidential pique.
Don’t Call It an Abortion Case
NIFLA v Becerra may be all about reproductive rights, but it’s a speech case, too.
All The President's Lawyers
This week we follow the money in the Mueller investigation and we talk with a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama about the relationship between presidents and their lawyers, and between this president and his lawyers.
When Did Corporations Become People?
A Preview of a Union-Busting Case, and RBG’s Gr...
Immigration: Whose Call Is It Anyway?
As the courts grapple with radical shifts in immigration policy, a look at the cases underlying the conversation about the rights of refugees, immigrants, Dreamers, and visitors.
“The Gross Spectacle of a Divided Defense”
The case of the capital defendant who insisted “I’m innocent” while his lawyer told everyone “he did it” reaches the Supreme Court.
The Right Not to Vote
SCOTUS will weigh whether Ohio had the right to purge more than a million voters who sat out elections.
#MeToo in the Courts
What’s next, and what’s needed, in the wake of sexual harassment claims concerning the judiciary?
Probing the Mueller Probe, and Inside the Chamb...
Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate | Martha
A preview of Slate's eight-episode miniseries about Watergate.
Why the Cakeshop Case is So Delicious
Guns in America and the Travel Ban that Went Un...
The 25th Amendment, What's That?
The Single Most Unremarked Win of the Trump Era
The Supreme Court Term RBG Is Calling "Momentous"
Gerrymandering Goes Back to Court
As is so often the case, all eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Breakfast Table Redux
Dahlia Lithwick, Mark Joseph Stern, and Pam Karlan chew over the Supreme Court term just completed.
Nice Little FBI You’ve Got Here. Pity if Someth...
What counts as “obstruction of justice?” And, should judges pay any attention to Trump’s Twitter feed?
Clarence Thomas is Color Blind
The most conservative justice casts a decisive vote to invalidate race-based voting lines.
A group of law professors tells a federal court that religious bias lies at the heart of Trump’s travel ban.
The Myth of the Neutral Expert
In the context of a capital trial, is there any such thing?
Playground of Liberty
An important church-state case at the Supreme Court centers on tire scraps repurposed for kids’ play areas.
When Prosecutors Keep Mum
Did eight men spend decades in prison for somebody else’s crime? And – a history of confirmation hearings.
Gorsuch Grins, Says Nothing
Were his hearings as pointless as they seemed?
Why It’s Worth Opposing Gorsuch
It’s not that he’s a bad judge, or that he was nominated by a president so compromised by scandal. Plus – a veteran D.C. journalist tries his hand at fiction.
After spending years challenging a draconian voter ID law in Texas, the DOJ abruptly changes course. Plus – a thorny deportation case is argued at SCOTUS.
How state attorneys general are going on the offensive against the most egregious parts of the Trump agenda. And – the Constitution’s limits on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"SEE YOU IN COURT"
A deep dive into the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on President Trump’s immigration ban.
Will You Accept This Robe?
Is Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch really “Scalia 2.0”? And, the constitutional and human costs of Trump’s Muslim ban.
Immunity in High Places
Can government officials be held individually responsible for constitutional violations on their watch? And, why one NFL team is so interested in a trademark challenge brought by a group of Asian-American rockers.
And Then There Were Eight
Trump winnows his shortlist for the Supreme Court’s empty seat. And we preview a big special education case that will be argued next week.
Corruption in the White House
Why the Founders were so adamant about preventing the kind of presidency we’re about to witness. Plus, historians, philosophers, and legal scholars reflect on the climate for free speech on campus.
Where We Draw the Line
The Supreme Court takes up the thorny issue of racial gerrymandering. And, a revolt is underway in the Electoral College.
The Specter of Korematsu
A timely look back at the infamous Supreme Court case that upheld the internment of Japanese-Americans.
If we take the president-elect at his word, how afraid should we be?
Lawyers challenging punitive voting restrictions in Ohio make an 11th hour appeal to the Supreme Court. And – Trump asks his supporters to go to other people’s polls.
And Now a Word from the White House
Merrick Garland has been waiting seven months for a Senate hearing, but the president’s advisers say Obama has no regrets about the nomination. Plus – the difficulty of keeping racism out of the jury room.
2016 Term Preview
Reflections on the thin gruel of a docket crafted in large part to avoid 4-4 ties. Plus – a conversation with the latest judge to be personally insulted by Donald Trump.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg biographer Irin Carmon joins Dahlia to reflect on how the diminutive Supreme Court justice came to loom so large in the consciousness of young feminists. Dahlia also speaks with the proud owner of an RBG tattoo.
That's a Wrap
The Supreme Court caps off one of its twistiest-turniest terms ever with a strong defense of abortion rights. Dahlia speaks with the woman behind Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt. And she recaps the term’s highlights with Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.
On his last day in office, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli tells Dahlia what it’s been like to argue the government’s most consequential cases at the high court. Also – why Justice Anthony Kennedy cast a clutch vote for affirmative action.
What Would Brandeis Do?
Dahlia sits down with Stanford Law School’s Deborah Rhode to discuss Donald Trump’s attack on the judge in the Trump University fraud lawsuits. And she talks with legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen about the astonishing legal mind of Justice Louis Brandeis.
A Bird with a Broken Wing
Is the eight-member Supreme Court a diminvished body? Dahlia mulls that question with fellow court watchers Garrett Epps and Jonathan Adler. And they consider what we should make of Donald Trump’s recently released Supreme Court nomination shortlist.
Dahlia and the National Law Journal’s Tony Mauro listen to highlights from the Supreme Court’s 2015 term. And she speaks with Politico’s Josh Gerstein about the recent non-developments in the non-confirmation of SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland.
This is Not Corruption
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in McDonnell v. U.S., the former Virginia governor’s appeal of his 2014 corruption conviction. On this episode, former federal judge Nancy Gertner tells Dahlia why she believes McDonnell should walk free.
Dahlia previews United States v. Texas – this week’s big immigration case – with Brianne Gorod of the Constitutional Accountability Center. She also hears from Sen. Al Franken about the latest in the standoff over Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, Merrick Garland.
The Case Against the Case Against Confirmation
More than two weeks into the standoff over Merrick Garland’s nomination to SCOTUS, GOP leaders show no sign of backing down. Legal scholar Geoffrey Stone tells Dahlia that this stonewalling is not only unprecedented, but unjustifiable as well.
The Contraceptive Mandate
This week, SCOTUS heard arguments in Zubik v Burwell, the latest challenge to Obamacare. In it, a group of religious nonprofits are challenging the govt.’s workaround for employers who don’t want anything to do with getting birth control to their workers.
Is the Burden Undue?
It was a big week at SCOTUS, as a newly-balanced Court turned to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, its first abortion case in nine years. We discuss the case with legal scholar Pamela Karlan and listen to some highlights from oral arguments.
The Contradictions of Antonin Scalia
A week after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, one of his former clerks shares fond memories of a mentor with whom she didn’t always agree politically. And a legal scholar explains why Scalia didn’t always remain true to his originalist principles.
Amicus Extra: Antonin Scalia's Death
The sudden death on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday has unleashed huge shockwaves in both the presidential race and the legal community.
The Candidates and the Court
On this episode, Dahlia asks why the Supreme Court has been almost absent as a campaign issue, despite the fact that the next president could have the opportunity to reshape the Court’s bench. She is joined by UC-Irvine law professor Erwin Chemerinsky.
The Case of the Missing Constitutional Violation
In Heffernan v City of Paterson, the Supreme Court must decide whether a government worker can be punished for a political belief his employers attribute to him. This week, Dahlia speaks with lawyers on both sides of the topsy-turvy case.
This week, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could undercut the ability of public sector unions to raise money. Dahlia is joined by Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro and U. of Michigan’s Sam Bagenstos, who submitted briefs on opposite sides of the case.
Judging Tribal Courts
Dahlia speaks with attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle about Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a major Native American rights case argued at the Supreme Court earlier this month.
One Person, One Vote
What is the meaning of “one person, one vote? That’s the main question in Evenwel v. Abbott, argued this week at SCOTUS. Dahlia speaks with experts on both sides of the case. And she plays a few highlights from the week’s big affirmative action case.
Color Blind Constitution
A half-century after Brown v. Board, should courts still be in the business of integrating public schools? Dahlia sits down with legal historian Risa Golubuff to discuss the backdrop to the term’s big affirmative action case, Fisher v Univ. of Texas.
Dahlia speaks with Carter Phillips, the lawyer who represented Tyson Foods at SCOTUS this week in its attempt to dismiss a class action suit by workers. She also considers the love-hate relationship between presidential hopefuls and the high court.
Dahlia previews Foster v. Chatman, a Supreme Court case that centers on the problem of racial bias in the process of jury selection.
No Second Chances
In Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court takes up the case of a man who has served 53 years in prison for a murder he committed as a juvenile.
The Machinery of Death
As serious questions about lethal injection protocols continue to swirl, Dahlia speaks with The Marshall Project’s Andrew Cohen about where the Supreme Court currently stands on the constitutionality of the death penalty.
2015 Term Preview
Dahlia sits down with the LA Times’ David Savage to consider three of the big cases on the SCOTUS docket this fall -- and whether liberals are right to be worried about the outcomes of those cases.
Sandra and Ruth
Dahlia sits down with Linda Hirshman, author of “Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World.” Hirshman recounts the two women’s rise to the bench and reflects on the impact they’
Sock the Vote
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Dahlia sits down with The Nation’s Ari Berman to discuss the decades-long campaign to roll back the achievements of the landmark 1965 legislation.
The Term in Review
ahlia sits down with three fellow SCOTUS-watchers — Kenji Yoshino, Mark Joseph Stern, and Christian Turner — to reflect on the just-completed term and how it will go down in history.
Amicus: The Storm Arrives
Over two consecutive days, the Supreme Court handed down historic decisions on same-sex marriage and Obamacare. Dahlia Lithwick and Walter Dellinger react.
The Storm Before the Storm
Dahlia is joined by The Atlantic’s Garrett Epps to parse the latest batch of 5-4 decisions from SCOTUS. They included rulings on immigration, free speech, and the death penalty, and involved some strange alliances among the Justices.
A Certain Justice
This week, Dahlia speaks with a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas about the strong stances that Thomas has been taking recently. And she asks what’s at stake in a big challenge to “One Person One Vote” that SCOTUS will take up next term.
The Calm Before the Storm
On today’s episode, Dahlia takes stock of the big whammy decisions just around the corner at the Supreme Court, and considers a few of the major abortion cases that could be following shortly on their heels.
Ready for Her Close-Up
This week we learned that Natalie Portman will play a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a new film about the Supreme Court Justice. On this episode, Dahlia and her guests consider the recent explosion of Court-related dramatizations on the stage and screen.
Making the Case
This week, we take you inside the courtroom for the recent gay marriage case at the Supreme Court. Dahlia listens to highlights of oral arguments with Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, one of the lawyers who represented same-sex couples in the historic case.
The Politics of Law
In anticipation of big decisions on marriage equality and Obamacare, many are talking about the balance of political power on the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick speaks with two court watchers about the extent to which the Justices are political actors.
On April 28, the Supreme Court will finally take up the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans. Dahlia Lithwick previews the cases with Paul Smith, the lawyer involved in the 2003 gay rights case that helped set the stage for this historic event.
How should the EPA weigh costs when regulating toxic emissions? Dahlia Lithwick speaks with lawyers on both sides of a Supreme Court case posing that question. And she reviews the highlights of a case testing the limits of free speech on license plates.
Throwing Away the Key
Seven years after ruling that detainees at Guantanamo Bay were entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court seems to have turned its back on the remaining detainees there. On this week’s episode, we ask why.
The Letter of the Law
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act -- King v. Burwell -- Dahlia Lithwick hears from experts on both sides of what could be the most important case in the Court’s entire term.
As the Supreme Court prepares to revisit the constitutionality of lethal injection, Dahlia Lithwick speaks with two experts about the controversial drugs being used for execution and whether the capital punishment system can be repaired.
Cameras in the Courtroom
Dahlia Lithwick speaks with Sonja West and RonNell Andersen Jones, two Supreme Court experts who don’t buy the justices’ arguments against allowing cameras in the courtroom.
"Thank You," Not "Please"
Dahlia Lithwick talks to Andrew Pincus, the lawyer who brought a Supreme Court challenge this week to a law banning fundraising by judicial candidates. And she hears from the NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill on the latest challenge to the Fair Housing Act.
The Super Lawyers
Dahlia Lithwick talks to Joan Biskupic, the author of a new Reuters study about the elite "one-percent" group of lawyers who bring most of the cases at the Supreme Court. She also hears from two of these super-lawyers -- Tom Goldstein and Paul Clement
Dahlia Lithwick talks to rap music scholar Charis Kubrin about Elonis v. U.S., and about how courts are using rap lyrics in criminal proceedings. She also hears from Sam Bagenstos, who argued this week’s pregnancy discrimination case Young v. United Par
Mental Illness and the Death Penalty
With an execution looming, Dahlia Lithwick revisits Panetti v. Quarterman, a case involving mental illness and the death penalty. Her guests are Scott Panetti’s lawyer Kathryn Kase and Brandon Garrett of the University of Virginia.
Fresh off oral arguments in the Supreme Court, Alyza Lewin discusses Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which asks if Congress or the President has ultimate authority over passports. Plus, Yates v. U.S. debates whether grouper should qualify as "tangible objects."
Amicus: Ballot-Box Special
On Ep. 4 of Amicus, a pre-election special. Dahlia sits down with UC Irvine law professor Rick Hasen, founder of Election Law Blog, to survey the landscape of state voter ID laws. They consider the effect of recent headlines on voters' confidence in...
Amicus: Revenge of the Octogenarians
On Ep. 3 of Amicus, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick talks with the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin about his recent interview with President Obama on Obama’s judicial legacy. Then Dahlia welcomes Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who won last...
Amicus: Let's Salsa with Sotomayor
On Ep. 2 of Amicus, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick and former acting solicitor general Walter Dellinger discuss the Surpreme Court’s recent non-decisions about abortion and voter I.D. laws. Then Dahlia talks with Joan Biskupic, author of a new...
Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick
On Ep. 1 of Amicus, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick discusses the opening of the Surpreme Court’s new term with Tom Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUSblog. Dahlia also welcomes Douglas Laycock, who argued the case of a Muslim prisoner who wants to...