Short Circuit 221 | The Big Mac
A couple headline-grabbing, government-thumping constitutional-heavyweight cases coming at you this week. First, Rob Johnson explains how he filed a brief on the importance of the right to a jury trial when he checked the news to find the Fifth Circuit had just said the same thing in a different case. He details why this is a big deal (and a good deal) and not the end-of-humanity some people have been shouting about. Then, Dan Alban tells us of how the Eleventh Circuit just found almost all of Florida’s “social media law” unconstitutional, and why this isn’t really that surprising. Except for the fact that the Fifth Circuit has cryptically upheld Texas’s similar law. Also, it’s towel day.
Click here for the transcript.
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