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What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law

A Government podcast featuring Elizabeth Joh and Roman Mars
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Best Episodes of What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law

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32- Contempt Power
What is Congress’ contempt power and how can they use it to force people to cooperate with their investigations?
21- Attorney Client Privilege
When the office of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was raided by the FBI, Trump took twitter to express his concern. He wrote “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” Let’s see if it is.
3- Pardon Power
There are reports that the Trump administration is being investigated for obstruction of justice. This has led a lot of people to wonder if the Constitution’s presidential pardon power could be used to absolve members of his administration, or even himself, from criminal charges. And what does the Constitution say about how a pardon has to be presented? Can Trump pardon someone with a tweet?
1- Judicial Legitimacy
Back in February 2017, Trump tweeted a criticism of the “so-called judge” who blocked the enforcement of his travel ban. Why does the president have to listen to what the courts say? We’re going to tell the story of a key moment in history when the president (Truman, in this case) and the court strongly disagreed.
28- Kavanaugh Special Episode
Some of the Constitutional considerations of the Kavanaugh confirmation process. Recorded October 2, 2018.
7- Recess Appointment Power
The Constitution says that the president can appoint important executive positions with the advice and consent of the Senate. But what if the Senate is out on recess? Does the president have to wait until the Senate comes back? Today we’ll explore the recess appointment power.
15- Challenge Coin
You might not remember December 22, 2017 as a particularly notable day, but I will always remember it as the day the world first saw Donald Trump’s redesigned Presidential Challenge Coin. Because 99% Invisible did an episode about challenge coins and we actually offered our own coin to donors, my association with challenge coins is strong. Because of that, I was forwarded the December 22 Washington Post article about Trump’s garishly over the top challenge coin by about...9000 people. Here’s a story about challenge coins and my reaction to the Trump coin.
26- Roe
Trump has a second Supreme Court pick and that has a lot of people wondering about the future of Roe v. Wade. Here we look at the constitutional basis of the decision and the strange personal history of Roe.
20- Deadly Force
The Fourth Amendment includes the right to be secure from “unreasonable searches and seizure.” We have some idea of how this applies to cops, but if teachers are allowed to carry guns in school, are they also subject to the Fourth Amendment?
2- The Appointments Clause and Removal Power
The US Constitution has a clause that describes how the president can hire certain political appointees with the advice and consent of the Senate. It doesn’t say when the president can fire someone. We take a look at recent Trump firings and put them in context of Supreme Court cases where the court both upheld and denied the president’s right to fire an executive branch employee. Even if a president has the constitutional power to fire someone, it doesn’t mean there aren’t political and legal consequences of the action.
16- Defamation
Trump likes to threaten the press with libel lawsuits. What does the Constitution have to say about defamation and the press?
34- Foreign Affairs
Donald Trump says he should not be impeached as President, since there was ‘no quid pro quo’ on a phone call where he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. But does quid pro quo need to be explicitly stated to be a legal issue? And can private citizens like Rudy Giuliani represent America on foreign policy issues? Get the new Shredders album from Doomtree!
6- The Emoluments Clauses
The Constitution says that a “person holding any office of profit or trust” cannot accept gifts from any foreign state. In Article II, it also says the president specifically cannot accept gifts from “United States, or any of them.” If Trump businesses profit from a foreign or domestic state, is that a violation of either one of the emolument clauses? It’s hard to say, because there is literally no case law when it comes the emoluments clause. None!
12- Right to Dissent
From "taking a knee" to refusing to salute the flag, the US has a rich history of public dissent, a right guaranteed by the Constitution. But you’d be surprised to learn that the Supreme Court has taken drastically different stands on this right, and now that Trump has tweeted his opposition to certain public displays of dissent, it’s a good time to explore the history of this principle of the First Amendment.
19- The Poisonous Tree
The Russia investigation has been called a "witch hunt" by Trump and his supporters on Twitter. And they've invoked the legal concept "the fruit of the poisonous tree" to invalidate the investigation. What does the Fourth Amendment say about tainted investigations and does it apply to Trump?
24- Taking the Fifth
Trump has said the taking the fifth makes "you look guilty as hell" but lot of Trump's associates are now taking the fifth in the Russia investigation. How should we interpret people taking the fifth?
35- Confrontation Clause
Since the beginning of the impeachment proceedings against the President, Donald Trump has insisted he has a right to confront “the whistleblower,” the anonymous member of the intelligence community who set the whole thing in motion. There is a Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which says a defendant in a criminal case has the right to face their accuser. But does this clause apply to the impeachment hearing against a president in Congress?
33- Obstruction
Trump lawyers assert that all of Trump’s actions during the Mueller investigation were within his rights as President and can’t be classified as obstruction of justice, especially because there is no underlying crime alleged. But as Martha Stewart will tell you, that’s not how obstruction of justice works. Get the new Shredders album from Doomtree!
9- Commerce Clause
The federal government can't pass any law it wants to. It's limited by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, but the executive branch can choose how to enforce those laws. Under Trump, there are indications that drug laws, which are based on the Commerce Clause, are about to be enforced very differently.
13- Criminal Justice and the POTUS
Presidents don't usually weigh in on criminal cases. In fact, it’s critical to the integrity of the criminal justice system that the executive not try to influence the outcome of cases. But Trump can't help himself. President Trump has called the US criminal justice system “a joke.”
18- The Tenth Amendment
The Tenth Amendment limits the federal government’s control over the states, but the interpretation of that limit is always shifting.
23- President Twitter and the First Amendment
Can Trump block people on Twitter? It turns out, the First Amendment has something to say about that.
27- Treason
When Trump tweets just the single word “Treason?”, probably in reference to the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed, is he using that word correctly? What does our federal Constitution say about treason? And when exactly does someone commit a treasonous act?
25- Justice Kennedy
Justice Kennedy decided to retire at the end of this Supreme Court term. Kennedy has been the swing vote on a lot of important cases. He’s mostly considered a conservative, but he has voted with the more progressive judges on cases having to do with gay rights and abortion. His successor will be appointed by Trump and that has many progressives concerned that the replacement will be even more conservative.
31- Executive Privilege
It's likely that Trump will invoke executive privilege during the numerous investigations and inquiries into his actions. Presidents have insisted they need to keep secrets to do their job effectively since Washington, but the term "executive privilege" is relatively recent and it has rarely been tested in court.
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Podcast Details
Started
Jun 8th, 2017
Latest Episode
Nov 15th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
36
Avg. Episode Length
20 minutes
Explicit
No
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