Short Circuit 206 | 50 Shades of Government Immunity

The Institute for Justice just issued a new report, 50 Shades of Government Immunity, about what happens when you go to state–not federal–court after the government violates your rights. The report grades every state for its access to justice as an alternative to the federal judiciary. Unfortunately, with just a couple exceptions, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Two IJ attorneys, Anya Bidwell and Patrick Jaicomo, and Professor Alex Reinert of Cardozo Law, join Short Circuit to discuss the report and Professor Reinert’s related research. You’ll learn that while going to state court isn’t nearly as easy as some at the U.S. Supreme Court assume it to be, there are prospects for reform as well.

50 Shades of Government Immunity, https://ij.org/report/50-shades-of-government-immunity/

New Federalism and Civil Rights Enforcement, https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1478&context=nulr

Protecting Everyone’s Constitutional Rights Act (IJ’s model legislation), https://ij.org/legislation/protecting-everyones-constitutional-rights-act/

Alex Reinert, https://cardozo.yu.edu/directory/alexander-reinert

Anya Bidwell, https://ij.org/staff/anya-bidwell/

Patrick Jaicomo, https://ij.org/staff/patrick-jaicomo/

Anthony Sanders, https://ij.org/staff/asanders/

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.

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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.

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