Short Circuit 186 | Chillin’ With Uber

Usually a “chill” on your freedom of speech is the easiest constitutional injury to prove. But in the Tenth Circuit it seems if you speak too much you’re not “chilled,” and therefore not “injured,” even if you’re breaking an unconstitutional law. Adam Shelton walks us through this chilling brain teaser. Meanwhile, when is competition “unfair”? Alexa Gervasi explains that in Massachusetts it was not unfair for Uber to compete against taxicabs when its own right to operate was, shall we say, a grey area. Plus, some nostalgia for the halcyon days of 2013 when getting in a ridesharing car was something you didn’t tell your mother.

Click here for the transcript.

Recent Episodes

June 10, 2022

Short Circuit 223 | Clerks and Harassment

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

June 06, 2022

Short Circuit 222 | Live at IJ’s Law Student Conference

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