Episode

6/5 The Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket & Unaccountability w/ Steve Vladeck

June 5, 2023

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma host Steve Vladeck, Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law, to discuss his recent book The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Ukraine’s offensive, the WGA writers’ strike, Twitter’s dropping revenue, fascist legislation in Tennessee and Texas, Mike Pence’s entrance to the GOP primary, and rising COVID rates, also previewing the increasingly fascist candidacies of Nikki Haley and other Trump opponents. Steve Vladeck then dives right into the distinction between the newly dubbed “Shadow Docket” and the Merit Docket – which involves years of litigation, oral arguments, full decisions and is typically what we think of when we imagine a Supreme Court case – and the longstanding reliance on both dockets, the former for routine and expedited cases, and the latter for cases with material and lasting impact. Vladeck then walks Sam and Emma through the revolution that the shadow docket has undergone during the Post-Trump conservative majority, with the Court expediting the Trump Administration’s challenges whenever requested, and essentially ignoring the processes that gave their institution legitimacy in the first place. After assessing the rather partisan nature of the Court’s recent use of the shadow docket, Sam, Emma, and Steve look at the evolution of the docket and the public’s faith in the Court and emphasize the importance of public pressure in delegitimizing this institution.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma chat with Giuseppe in Jacksonville on the devastating impact fundamentalists have on their (and neighboring) communities, explore Joe Manchin’s potential presidential run, and AJ from Baltimore assesses the electoral evils of Trump and DeSantis. Steve Deace rings in Pride Month by calling Trump gay, Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, and Matt Walsh do some unsurprisingly stupid and deranged transphobia, and Robert from Manhattan discusses coverage of trans rights, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Steve’s book here: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/stephen-vladeck/the-shadow-docket/9781541602632/?lens=basic-books

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