Short Circuit 182 | Putting the Protection in “Equal Protection”
Today we think of the Equal Protection Clause as requiring equal treatment of the laws. But in addition to anything else it covers, at its core it’s supposed to protect, well, equal protection. Yet if you bring a claim that you’re not being protected equally the courts generally have little to offer. However, civil rights attorney Laura Schauer Ives just won an appeal at the Tenth Circuit in a tragic case where the court did take “protection” seriously, denying qualified immunity to police officers who failed to protect a woman from her stalking ex-partner. She joins us to discuss the victory and its wider impact. Also, what’s a “closely-regulated industry?” That term is often used to deny businesses some of their Fourth Amendment protections, and the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that massage parlors qualify. IJ’s Josh Windham joins us to analyze whether this is becoming an exception that swallows the rule, i.e. the rule that the government come back with a warrant.
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We discuss a couple legal immunities, one listeners will be familiar with and one that’s pretty unknown. The second is being addressed by our special guest, Aliza Shatzman. She is the co-founder of The Legal Accountability Project, a new nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that as many law clerks as possible have positive clerkship experiences while extending support and resources to those who do not. Aliza had a harrowing experience as a law clerk and found that the laws that apply to other government employees often don’t extend to those in the judicial branch. She also presents a recent case from the Fourth Circuit about a judicial branch employee who brought a number of claims to try and get around sovereign immunity—and actually succeeded on a few of them. Then Kirby Thomas West of IJ discusses a Fifth Circuit case with terrible facts, but a good outcome on the qualified immunity front.Read More
Recording in front of a live audience at the 2022 Institute for Justice’s Law Student Conference, we look at some of the best, and some of the worst, from the Fourth Circuit. First, Justin Pearson explains why a restriction on “political” advertising on the side of buses was unconstitutional even though it recognized the side of a bus is not a “public forum.” Then, Michael Bindas gives us his best sommelier (or is it wino?) impersonation and discusses a tipsy opinion allowing North Carolina to prevent out-of-state retailers from shipping wine to the state’s consumers. It’s pretty much not what the Supreme Court has said about the dormant Commerce Clause and alcohol.Read More