In November, IJ’s Center for Judicial Engagement launched the second season of our legal history podcast, Bound by Oath. Season 2 jumps headfirst into the thicket of legal doctrines like qualified immunity that the U.S. Supreme Court has invented or repurposed over the past 50 years to shield the government from accountability.
To tell that story, the podcast features interviews with the real-life plaintiffs behind landmark government accountability cases, as well as cases that are more obscure. These conversations lay bare the stakes of the Court’s retreat from one of the nation’s core legal principles: For rights to have meaning, they must be enforceable.
The Founders would not have recognized a judiciary where judges routinely refuse to say what the law is or provide legal recourse for those whose rights have been violated. Nor would the Framers of the 14th Amendment (the stars of Season 1!), who sought to protect the liberties of all Americans, be keen to see the doors of federal courthouses steadily closing to civil rights claims. At IJ, we’re fighting to reverse that trend, and Season 2 starts with IJ’s own accountability case Brownback v. King, which we argued on November 9.