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We the People

Podcast We the People
Podcast We the People

We the People


Available Episodes

5 of 372
  • Federal Judges on Blockbuster Supreme Court Cases
    Three judges from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals joined host Jeffrey Rosen for a live panel held on September 17, Constitution Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. They shared an inside look into some of their rulings that then became blockbuster Supreme Court cases. Judge Cheryl Ann Krause discussed her ruling in the case involving a cheerleader who was punished for a Snapchat, Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. Judge Stephanos Bibas spoke on his decision in one of the major Trump campaign challenges to the 2020 election results, Donald Trump for President, Inc v. Secretary Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And Judge Marjorie Rendell shared insight into her decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the case spurred by the city barring Catholic Social Services (CSS) from placing children in foster homes because CSS refused to allow same-sex couples to be foster parents. The judges also reflected on their work more broadly, their efforts to find compromise among colleagues with differing opinions, and their important roles in American government. Additional resources and transcript available in our Media Library at Questions or comments about the show? Email us at [email protected]
  • James Madison, Ratification, and the Federalist Papers
    September 17 is Constitution Day—the anniversary of the framers signing the Constitution in 1787. This week’s episode dives into what happened after the Constitution was signed—when it had to be approved by “we the people,” a process known as ratification—and the arguments made on behalf of the Constitution. A major collection of those arguments came in the form of a series of essays, today often referred to as The Federalist Papers, which were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay using the pen name Publius and published initially in newspapers in New York. Guests Judge Gregory Maggs, author of the article “A Concise Guide to The Federalist Papers as a Source of the Original Meaning of the United States Constitution,” and Colleen Sheehan, professor and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to The Federalist, shed light on the questions: What do The Federalist Papers say? What did their writers set out to achieve achieve by writing them? How do they explain the ideas behind the Constitution’s structure and design—and where did those ideas come from? And why is it important to read The Federalist Papers today? Additional resources and transcript available in our Media Library at Questions or comments about the show? Email us at [email protected]
  • The Texas Abortion Law and the Future of Roe
    Last week, the Supreme Court declined to temporarily halt, and thus allowed to go into effect, a new Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy—effectively banning most abortions in the state. The law is unusual in that, instead of enacting criminal penalties as a method of enforcement, it enables others to sue anyone who violates the law for money damages. On this week’s episode, host Jeffrey Rosen is joined by constitutional law scholars Kate Shaw and Sarah Isgur to explain what exactly the Texas law says, the motivations and legal theory behind it, and why it was structured the way it was specifically in order to be hard to challenge—given that it directly violates constitutional precedents like Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which protect the constitutional right to abortion pre-viability (around 22-24 weeks). Shaw and Isgur also consider whether the type of enforcement mechanism that makes this Texas law unique might be replicated in other states for abortion restrictions or gun control. They also unpack the Supreme Court’s brief ruling declining to intervene at this time, its reasoning, and how it compares to other recent emergency rulings like the COVID-19 cases and the eviction moratorium. Kate Shaw is a professor at Cardozo Law and a co-host of the Supreme Court podcast Strict Scrutiny. Sarah Isgur is staff writer at The Dispatch and co-host of the legal podcast Advisory Opinions. This episode was recorded just before the Justice Department announced that it will sue the state of Texas over this law—although our guests provide some pre-emptive speculation on what such a lawsuit may look like.
  • Can Governors Ban School Mask Mandates?
    Legal battles over masks in schools are being fought across the country—in states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nevada and Texas—and the U.S. Department of Education recently announced a civil rights investigation into mask mandate bans in several states.  This week’s episode explores lawsuits brought against governors who took action to try to ban  local mask mandates in schools, as well as challenges to state school mask mandates brought by people who say their individual rights were violated. We also address broader questions raised by this debate regarding the balance of power in America, and whether the Supreme Court might intervene. Host Jeffrey Rosen was joined by Charles C. W. Cooke, senior writer for National Review, and professor Jennifer Selin of the University of Missouri.  Additional resources and transcript available in our Media Library at Questions or comments about the show? Email us at [email protected]
  • The Story of the 26th Amendment
    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18. This week’s episode tells the fascinating story of the amendment—sparked by two wars and the idea of “old enough to fit, old enough to vote,” principally designed by two senators, and advocated for by countless young people, students, and civil rights activists. Host Jeffrey Rosen was joined by Jason “Jay” Berman, a longtime advisor to one of the principal architects of the 26th Amendment, U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, and Yael Bromberg, author of the article “Youth Voting Rights and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.” Special thanks to the 26th Amendment Collection, Modern Political Papers, Indiana University Libraries as well as the Youth Franchise Coalition and Project Vote 18 for the Birch Bayh audio at the top of the episode. Additional resources and transcript available in our Media Library at Questions or comments about the show? Email us at [email protected]

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